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.
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 →
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.
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Asustek is standing up to the press and refuting analyst claims that sales of the T-Mobile Garminfone are lagging. According to Asustek, the Garminfone is shipping as expected and consumer demand is positive. This statement seemingly contradicts a research note by analyst Yair Reiner who estimated that T-Mobile was selling a mere five handsets per store per week. Reiner crunched the numbers and calculated that T-Mobile has sold a meager 20,000 handsets since the Garminfone launched in early June. Despite its vehement objection to these numbers, Asustek did not provide sales figures; leaving us all wondering whether the Garminfone is indeed moving off the shelves as Asustek implies or is merely piling up in a T-Mobile warehouse waiting for a fire sale. 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 →
T-Mobile announced its latest Android offering, the GPS-centric Garminphone earlier today. The Garminfone picks up where the Nuvifone left off and offers T-Mobile 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, a 3 megapixel camera with autfocus and digital zoom, and Bluetooth 2.1. Leveraging Garmin’s success in the GPS market, the Garminfone utilizes a Garmin-specific interface that is dominated by the handset’s GPS-centric focus. The Nuvifone features turn by turn directions, text-to-speech, automatic switching between day and night view modes, and a suite of location-based applications that include local real-time traffic, local weather, local movie listings, local gas prices, and Voice Studio, an Android application that allows you to record custom voice directions. Garmin’s navigation services are also integrated through the OS and can be found in text messages, emails, contact information, calendar entries, and web pages. The device will launch with Android 1.6 on board and will include the full suite of Google apps Android owners know and love. Though updates to the aged 1.6 OS have not been promised, T-Mobile does point out that the handset permits OTA updates. Expect the handset to debut exclusively on T-Mobile at an undisclosed price later this Spring. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →