updated 02:45 pm EDT, Fri June 5, 2009
Garmin nuvifone Close
In spite of warnings of delays, Garmin president Cliff Pemble today at a shareholders' meeting said the company was "getting very close" to launching its nüvifone line on sale in the US through a carrier. The touchscreen GPS phones are now through the second stage of carrier testing and thus not far away from being used. Surprise demand from providers meant the company had little reason to follow original plans and release the phone at full price but unlocked.
An American ship date isn't mentioned, nor is whether the launch would center on the Linux-based G60 or the Windows Mobile-based M20, though the G60 has been the longest in development and is the most ready of the two. An unlocked, carrier-independent version could be ready for Asia as early as late June or the start of July.
Garmin had originally positioned itself as an iPhone competitor when the nüvifone G60 was first unveiled in early 2008 but has seen much of its advantage disappear as more than a year of delays have let the iPhone catch up through the addition of GPS. As early as next week, the iPhone could also support turn-by-turn GPS and mitigate one of Garmin's main advantages.