updated 02:20 am EST, Wed February 4, 2009
Garmin, Asus alliance
Garmin and ASUS on Wednesday morning announced a strategic alliance to design and sell co-branded mobile phones, including the launch of a new phone at the upcoming mobile conference in Barcelona, Spain and rebranded nüviphone (as the nüviphone G60), which was announced last week. According to the companies, both Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series. The companies, which will leverage the companies' navigation and mobile telephony expertise, expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, including a new model at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009.
The release claims that the Garmin-Asus nüvifone devices will "continue the product vision of the original nüvifone," featuring LBS-centric services that seamlessly connect, communicate and navigate. In addition, the companies will rebrand the original Garmin nüvifone, announced in 2008, as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60. The Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2009; it will compete with the iPhone as well as to bring Garmin's experience with GPS navigation to the forefront. Additionally information about the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 3.5-inch touchscreen device, which will feature a host of Google apps, will be released at the Mobile World Congress trade show.
According to the release, the "core" LBS functionality will offer the same turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features found on high-end Garmin portable navigation devices (PND) and the devices will include preloaded with maps and millions of points of interest that allow drivers to quickly find a specific street address, establishment's name or search for a destination by category. The nüvifone also includes access to online points of interest through internet-enabled local search and also features Ciao!, a social networking application that bridges the gap between multiple location based social networks and integrates them seamlessly into one device.
The Garmin-Asus nüvifone models will be on display at the Garmin-Asus booth at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009 (7C37, hall 7).