Asustek confirmed Monday that the Garmin-ASUS joint venture it entered into with GPS giant Garmin two years ago will end early next year. The confirmation comes following last week’s report that the unsuccessful venture would come to an end when the companies’ deal expires in January 2011. With the popularity of navigation apps for smartphones exploding over the past few years, the joint venture seemingly started as an experiment that posed a single question: are consumers interested in a product that is a personal navigation device first and a smartphone second? The answer, at least in this case, is no. Further details on the split will be provided Tuesday, though initial reports suggest that the two companies will continue to work together in some capacity after their current deal terminates. More →
It was all but written in the stars, and now it is also written in the Chinese paper Economic Daily — Garmin will soon be un-ASUS’d and ASUS is losing its Garmin. The two companies will reportedly not be renewing a two-year contract that birthed such mediocre smartphones as the Nuvifone M20 and T-Mobile’s Garminfone. Truth be told, each of the aforementioned handsets provided a navigation experience that was well above average when it comes to phones, but a great integrated nav experience seemingly isn’t enough to seal the deal with smartphone-seeking end users. The joint venture that started with a bunch of question marks and exclamation points nearly two years ago will end with an ellipsis, however, as the two companies will apparently continue working together in some capacity; Garmin will provide navigation software for future ASUS-branded handsets. We would love to say something like, “It was fun while it lasted,” but we imagine the entire ordeal was pretty stressful for everyone involved.
You know your proprietary mobile OS isn’t all that great when we go ahead and say: thank heavens for Windows Mobile. Garmin/ASUS have announced that their M20 “GPS that can make phone calls” will now ship with Windows Mobile 6.5, and “all” current M20 owners are eligible for the free upgrade. Sweet. The two companies claim 6.5 will be available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech, Turkey and elsewhere on the M20 by the close of 2009. No love for Western Europe and the US? Oh well. WinMo 6.5 for the M20 is nice and all, but what about all those fellas who purchased a G60? More →
Well boys and girls, it looks like the G60 might not be vaporware here in the US after all. An official announcement finally puts the G60 on AT&T store shelves this coming Sunday for $299.99 on a 2-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. That might seem a bit high at first, but considering there’s no subscription fee required for navigation it’s really not a bad deal. After all, it’ll cost you the same amount or more to score an iPhone 3GS with a solid non-subscription nav app. Regardless — the question of the hour is… After all this time, is anyone still interested in this puppy or has that ship already sailed?
While many of you spent last night watching grown men pummel one another into submission, we here at BGR put in some over time so we could get to the bottom of the pricing of some upcoming AT&T smartphones. And just as you would expect, we’ve come through. First off we have two HTC offerings, the Tilt2 (Touch Pro2) and Pure (Touch Diamond2). On contract and after applying $50 MIRs, we’ve heard the Tilt2 will be $299.99 while the Pure will go for $199.99. Off contract, you’re looking at $499.99 and $349.99 respectively. Second, we have the Garmin-ASUS nüvifone G60 which will finally ditch its North American vaporware status when it hits retail shelves with the 2-year price of $299.99 after a $100 MIR. Off contract, the G60 will command $549.99, a princely sum, indeed. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to confirm the AT&T Pure or nüvifone G60 release dates, but we do have a pretty accurate idea on the Tilt 2. Still, we’d expect to see all three of these devices before the end of October based upon the fact that this is when these prices are effective until.
UPDATE: We’ve just been sent a photo of the pricing for the AT&T Pure which shows it actually going for $149.99 with a two-year agreement.
It was a simpler time. The economy was the last thing on most people’s minds, Dane Cook was just a weird annoying guy from Waiting, Galvatron ruled over our comments section with an iron fist… And Garmin announced that it would enter the wireless arena with the soon-to-be released nuvifone. A lot has changed since then but one thing has remained constant over this historic 18-month period — no nuvifone. Believe it or not however, that might actually change in the near future. Despite having a bit of trouble spelling nuvifone, TWICE reports that Garmin is “getting very close” to a carrier launch here in the US. Why the massive delays? Garmin president and COO Cliff Pemble:
Originally we thought we’d launch the phone into the open market, but because of the strong interest we had from carriers, we chose to focus on a carrier-centric launch and meeting carrier requirements is a lot of work.
Yeah if Garmin thought working with carriers was easy, the company was definitely in for a rude awakening. The June/July time frame does jibe with what Reuters reported back in April so it’s looking like this little guy may actually see the light of day. We shall see.
[Via GPS Tracklog]
So much for June. During a conference call with analysts last week, Garmin President and COO Cliff Pemble confessed that the nuvifone G60 will be delayed due to technical issues. Stating that creating a smartphone such as the nuvifone G60 is “complicated” and that “bringing one to market that’s built totally from the ground up on a custom Linux platform is not an easy task,” is somewhat of a valid excuse, but we mean c’mon — this handset was announced over 15 months ago and still hasn’t seen the light of day. And you know what that led to? Garmin-ASUS pimping the G60 like it was brand new because of their “strategic alliance”, which so far has amounted to nothing more than vaporware and lots of it. The nuvifone G60 is now slated for a release sometime in 2H09 meaning that Absolutely. No. One. Will. Care.
[Via PMP Today]
It may have taken a year and a half and a second official announcement but it looks like we may finally have word on when the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone is set to hit the streets. Of course we still don’t have any official pricing info or an exact launch date, but a Reuters article from this morning places the nuvifone G60 on store shelves in June. As for which store shelves the G60 will land on, it’s still looking like AT&T is where the smart money is though nothing has been confirmed. The article cites “a source with direct knowledge of the project” in stating that ASUS will issue its first LiMo-powered handset in June. As the M20 runs Windows Mobile it’s a safe bet to presume we’re talking about the G60 here. An AT&T-subsidized, LiMo-fueled, 3G-rocking navigation beast… We want it.
[Via GPS Tracklog]
Garmin and ASUS have just announced that they’ve entered into a strategic alliance and have subsequently re-branded the Garmin nuvifone as the nuvifone G60. What’s more is that both companies have promised to deliver several devices in 2009 with another device slated to make a charming pirouette entrance at Mobile World Congress. With the entire nuvifone lineup obviously very navigation oriented, the million dollar question is what OS will the lineup will be running. Apparently a ASUS chairman said at today’s press conference that it has yet to decide which OS to use with the G60 and that “[ASUS has] expertise in WinMo, Linux and Android, but we believe the software is more important than the OS.” While the aforementioned statement seems on the surface to be an example of extravagant exaggeration, we suppose that there is some truth to it as the people who are going to be picking up a G60 aren’t going to be doing so because of whatever OS it ships with. Now if you have a good memory for these kind of things you’ll recall that it wasn’t too long ago that we though the G60 would for sure be shipping with Android based upon statements from Garmin’s Asian Pacific Marketing Director, but then again companies obviously reserve the right to change their minds at any time. Expect to see the G60 out by the end of this quarter – a daunting task considering it’s still OSless…