Apple posted a 20% profit decline in its spring quarter. Personal navigation device (PND) vendor Garmin just delivered a comparatively mild 7% earnings decline. If anyone had forecast this outcome two years ago, he would have been branded as a lunatic. Or possibly a dark prophet of apocalypse: “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see; And I beheld, and lo a PND vendor that was supposed to be dead outperformed the most profitable smartphone vendor in history in annualized profit trend comparison.” More →
Personal fitness GPS products could be a possible growth market for struggling PND companies. A new report from ABI Research is forecasting that the personal fitness GPS market could soon surpass 10 million units. Products such as the Garmin Forerunner 610 have helped its Outdoor and Fitness division deliver 27% of the company’s operating income last year, ABI said, and that growth continued into 2011 when the company recorded a 25% increase in fitness sales during the second quarter. “Garmin remains by far the dominant player in this expanding market, with over 90% of the market share, but it will face some new emerging competition,” telematics and navigation senior analyst Patrick Connolly said. The industry growth has been spurred by other companies too, including Citizen, Casio and Polar, among others. “There has also been a dearth of health/fitness devices launched on the market in 1H11, from companies such as Basis, Fitbit, Jawbone, Bodymedia, Philips and Hitachi,” said ABI Telematics and navigation practice director Dominique Bonte “Many have indicated that GPS is part of their future plans.” Mobile devices have also helped drive sales of personal fitness GPS applications, and ABI Research noted the success of Nike, Runkeeper and MapMyRun. Read on for the full press release. More →
On Tuesday Garmin announced that Navigon’s shareholders have signed an agreement for a Garmin subsidiary to purchase Germany-based Navigon. “This acquisition is a great complement to Garmin’s existing automotive and mobile business. Navigon has invested significantly in the European automotive OEM business, and we feel that we can rapidly expand our automotive OEM footprint and capabilities through this transaction,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “With Navigon, we are also acquiring one of the top-selling navigation applications for the iPhone and Android platforms – something that we expect will help drive revenue for the combined company going forward. Combining Navigon’s and Garmin’s strength also improves our competitiveness and standing particularly in Europe.” Garmin said that Navigon will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Garmin and that the deal is still subject to regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Today, via a barrage of press releases, navigation company Garmin announced its nüvi 2400 series of personal GPS devices and its first iPhone navigation application, StreetPilot.
The 2400 series of personal navigation devices will come in four different models and offer a variety of features, including live-traffic updating, hands-free calling, voice activated navigation, and lifetime map updates. All four models will feature a 5-inch display, include Bluetooth connectivity, and boast several new software convenience features. “All models feature nüRoute with trafficTrends and myTrends predictive routing,” reads the press release. “With trafficTrends, nüvi automatically learns traffic flow trends to improve route calculation and better predict the estimated time of arrival based on time of day and day of week.” The release continues, “with myTrends, nüvi will, over time, begin to anticipate a route to favorite destinations as soon as the device is powered up.” The 2400 series is priced between $249.99 and $349.99 and will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.
Garmin’s StreetPilot iPhone app features many of the features available on the company’s automotive GPS devices including, free traffic alerts, lane assist, and speed limit indicators. The software is cloud-based — meaning you need an internet connection to download the maps — supports multitasking, and is priced at $39.99. StreetPilot weighs in at a modest 7.5MB, can navigate both the U.S. and Canada, and is available in the App Store today. More →
Garmin to offer navigation software exclusively on ASUS for Android; coming soon to BlackBerry, iOS [Updated]
Hot on the heels of the public break-up between GPS giant Garmin and handset maker ASUS, the navigation company has announced that it will still work with the Taiwanese handset providing its GPS software and some location-based service applications on select ASUS, Android handsets. The exact verbiage of the statement looks like this:
ASUS will design and manufacture new models of ASUS-branded mobile phones, some of which will include preloaded Garmin navigation and Location Based Service (LBS) applications. Garmin will expand its mobile handset application development and plans to offer navigation and other applications through certain consumer application stores.
DigiTimes is reporting that the deal between Garmin and ASUS is exclusive on the Android platform; DT also notes that Garmin will be offering “software on Apple’s App Store and RIM’s BlackBerry App World for free download.” The blog cites Asustek as the source of its information.
UPDATE: Garmin contacted BGR this morning to let us know about a few inaccuracies in DigiTimes’ report. Here’s Garmin’s statement:
It is possible that we will offer navigation apps on Apple and Blackberry devices, but we haven’t announced when they will be available or how much those apps will cost. They will not be free.
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 →
In an interview with Reuters, Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman was fairly candid when speaking about his company’s foray into the smartphone market place. “We’re pragmatic. If we end up ultimately not successful with units … we’ll have to sit back and evaluate that and consider making the best decision for our business,” said the CFO. Rauckman continued, “We’ll have to make decisions within the next couple of quarters — whether we continue to invest or whether we pull back.” The company’s total smartphone sales for Q2 of 2010 totaled just $27 million. More →
Just a quick PSA: Garmin has just announced that they are voluntarily recalling 1.25 million nüvi navigation units due to the possibility of faulty batteries. A press release explains that some devices, with a specific printed circuit board design, could contain defective third-party batteries that, “in rare circumstances, increase the possibility of overheating, which may lead to a fire hazard.” The nüvi models affected include those with the model numbers 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT. If you want to determine if your nüvi is being recalled you can visit garmin.com/nuvibatterypcbrecall to check. We have the full press release after the break. More →
T-Mobile has cut the price of the Garminfone by $70, lowering the handset to $129.99 with a two year agreement. This price cut comes hot on the heels of a series of contradictory rumors regarding the demand for the GPS-centric device. Earlier this week, analyst Yair Reiner calculated that T-Mobile has sold a paltry 20,000 Garminfones since the phone launched in June. Asustek refuted that number with a claim that the handset was shipping as expected and consumer demand was positive. Until actual sales figures are released, we will be left to speculate whether this price drop is part of a natural cycle of retail markdowns or the early signs of an impending fire sale.
Thanks to all who sent this in! More →
Anyone looking for a device that’s as much a sat-nav superstar as it is a capable smartphone might want to mosey on over to T-Mobile, as the Garmin-ASUS Garminfone is now available. Running Android 1.6 with a 3 megapixel camera and AWS 3G, the Garminfone really comes into its own with its GPS capabilities which include just about everything you’d get in a top of the dedicated GPS unit for your car. A 2-year stint with T-Mobile will let you get the Garminfone for $199.99 after a $50 MIR, but if contracts aren’t your scene, you can grab the handset outright with Even More Plus for $449.99, or break that up into 20 monthly payments of $22.50. More →
Good news for everyone who has been waiting on a launch date for the T-Mobile Garminfone, as today it was announced that the GPS-centric and Android-powered smartphone will be available starting June 9th. Priced at $199.99 after a $50 MIR on a 2-year contract, the Garminfone isn’t exactly cheap for a phone that offers a 3.5″ display, 3 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and HSDPA to the table, but let’s be real here — the Garminfone is all about its amazing GPS and navigational features. Right, we almost forgot… T-Mobile is currently running a contest in which it’s giving away 5 Garminphones. Check out all of the details for the contest here. Good luck! More →
T-Mobile has announced pricing for the Android-GPS-phone hybrid, which we all know as the Garminfone. A quick recap of the GPSmartphone: 3G, Wi-Fi, 3 megapixel camera with autfocus and digital zoom, Bluetooth 2.1, and a Garmin-specific interface. All you Magenta loving, Android preferring, navigationally-challenged, freaks can head on over to T-Mo’s Garminfone splash-page and sign up to be alerted the moment the hardware will hit the streets. The Garminfone will set you back $199 on a two-year contract and is listed as being available in “June.” $199 for an Android device running OS 1.6? Eeeeeesh. More →
Any smartphone worth a darn has GPS capabilities, but some are more adept at finding their way than others. After getting a reputation for a company that takes it sweet-ass time launching a handset, Garmin-ASUS today announced two new handsets in the nüvifone A50 and nüvifone M10. First up is the A50. An Android device with a 3.5″ HVGA touchscreen display, 3 megapixel camera, HSDPA connectivity, 4GB of internal memory and accelerometer, the A50 is said to be one heck of a pathfinder thanks in part to its e-compass and GPS chipset that draws location signals from satellites as well as network and terrestrial sources. Add in not apps like Google Maps and cityXplorer but Garmin’s very own pre-loaded turn-by-turn navigation software and one no longer has any excuses for getting lost while driving to the in-laws new country cottage. Moving on we have the M10. Running Windows Mobile 6.5.3, it isn’t as spec’d out as the A50 GPS wise, but it still can take on any other smartphone and even many dedicated GPS units with one hand tied behind its back. Physical characteristics include a 3.5″ WVGA display (resistive), Wi-Fi and HSDPA radios, 512MB of RAM and ROM and 4GB of in-built memory. Consumers and procrastinators should note each handset features support for just about every location-based and social media service under the sun, while corporate types will be pleased to note that Microsoft Exchange is fully by both phones. And yes, the A50 does have a multi-touch WebKit browser. Barring any unexpected delays, both devices will go on sale by the end of Q2. More →