Internal forecast expects troubles to continue
Garmin has announced its fourth-quarter financial results, showing a drop in revenues across every segment save fitness products. Net profits fell to $129 million, down from $166 million in the same quarter last year, as the GPS hardware maker struggles to compete with the prevalence of smartphones equipped with free mapping and navigation applications.
Third-party features accessible via Maps
Garmin and Embark have announced that their respective iOS apps will bring public transportation features to Apple's new Maps app in iOS 6. Although the core Maps utility does not provide public transit navigation, Apple earlier this year outlined plans to utilize third-party services to expand Maps' functionality beyond vehicle navigation.
Garmin GLO delivers high accuracy positioning for mobile devices
Garmin has taken the wraps off its latest portable navigation device. The new Garmin GLO is designed to bring 'high-integrity GPS capability to mobile devices.' The device works with both iOS and Android devices and offers up to 20 percent faster position locks than just by using GPS technology alone.
Scratch-resistant watch includes smartphone connectivity
Garmin is introducing another product in its watch-based GPS line. The Fenix Outdoor Watch, aimed at outdoor enthusiasts such as mountaineers and hikers, packs an assortment of instruments including optimized altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors alongside the satellite navigation system.
Motorcycle-oriented Garmin Zumo 340, 350 show up at FCC
Two new, as-yet unannounced Garmin GPS units have just surfaced at the FCC. The Zumo 340 and Zumo 350 are meant for use on motorcycles, and their model numbers suggest they are mid-level offerings, though pricing can only be guessed at so far. The units are also a little different in shape than the current flat form factor of Nuvi devices.
Garmin updates Fit iOS app
The Garmin Fit iOS app ($1 in the App Store) was updated today, adding a new feature, LiveTrack. With the feature addition, users can set up tracking sessions and share their training sessions over Facebook and Twitter. The update also includes optimizations for running the app on iPads.
Approach S3 gets glove-friendly screen, more
Garmin has just introduced its latest electronic accessory for golfers in its Approach S3 watch. The rugged and waterproof watch sports a touchscreen that can be operated with gloves on and contains data on 27,000 courses across the world. It contains data such as distances to doglegs and lay-up points, lets users manually place the pin on the greens, and doubles as a scorecard.
Garmun makes in-car info system for 2013 Suzukis
Garmin branched out into in-car GPS and media systems for the first time Monday through a deal with Suzuki. "Most" 2013 model year Suzuki cars will get a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface that both covers the prerequisite GPS navigation as well as support for playing back from phones and iPods through USB, the aux-in jack, or Bluetooth. The system supports voice control to keep hands on the wheel, and smartphone links that include Pandora radio access for iPhone users and broader tools for gas, parking, traffic, and weather drawn from Android phones.
Navigation company embraces social networking
Although Garmin would seem to fit in better at CES rather than the Macworld iWorld expo, the navigation company brought its latest iOS apps to San Francisco this week to show off the latest features. MacNN played around with the updated version of StreetPilot onDemand, which now enables users to take advantage of social networking features.
Garmin's Premium GPS line features free updates
Garmin has unveiled its latest premium flagship navigation devices, the nuvi 3500 series. The 3590LMT and 3550LM are Garmin's first to use five-inch displays, and automatically reorient to the user's preference of either portrait and landscape mode. They also have Garmin's latest navigation engine, which features faster route calculation and realistic displays of interchanges and exits.
ASUS hints it stays unafraid of Apple lawsuits
ASUS isn't worried about being sued over patents, company chairman Jonney Shih stated at an awards ceremony Tuesday. Picking up the Pan Wen Yuan Prize with Digitimes in attendance, he said ASUS had "many" 3G patents and wasn't worried about being sued. Although not stated, he was likely referencing HTC's loss to Apple after an ITC complaint, which will likely lead to a favorable ruling if HTC doesn't settle ahead of other ITC verdicts and matching civil lawsuits.
Suit claims earlier patents on Nike, iPod tech
An unusual lawsuit filed earlier this week hoped to upturn another lawsuit over Nike+iPod technology. Maryland resident Erik Cherdak claimed to have had two patents relating to an "athletic shoe with timing device" that predate the patents accessory maker PhatRat was using to sue, and later license out to, Apple and Nike. He hoped to have the two PhatRat patents invalidated on top of forcing Apple and Nike to pay licensing fees for iPhones, iPods, and shoes designed to use the Nike+ system, all under the threat of a possible ban.
GPS deals at Black Friday prices
Black Friday isn't over yet, here are some great deals on GPS units that are still available. Newegg.com has the Garmin nuvi 5-inch GPS navigation system with lifetime map and traffic updates, it has seen a $170 price break from $299.99 down to $129.99. Today Buy.com has slashed the price on the Garmin nuvi 1350LMT portable navigator, which is usually $249.99, but today is only $129 after the savings are applied.
Fit app works in conjunction with ANT+ adapter
Garmin has introduced a new ANT+ adapter for iPhones, along with a companion app for iOS- and Android-based devices. The fitness app, known as Garmin Fit on both platforms, enables users to track a variety of workout details including speed, pace, distance travelled, time, and estimates for calories burned.
Multi-sport monitor hits FCC
GPS maker Magellan has submitted a new device to the FCC which indicates it's near entering the fitness market. The Switch Up is a multi-sport device that can monitor effort, track movement, and calculate performance parameters. It also comes with conventional GPS tracking.
Garmin working on its own ANT+ adapter
Garmin looks to be working on its own ANT+ adapter for the iPhone, as evidenced by a recent FCC filing. There are no technical details revealed, though it's likely to pair and deliver fitness information to iPhones or iPod touch devices with the help of a free app.
Joins iOS and Android phones with GPS app
Navigon, the newly-bought German branch of Garmin, has unveiled a satellite navigation app for Windows Phones. The app, which provides turn-by-turn navigation with text-to-speech, will run on the latest version of Windows Phone, 7.5 (Mango). The app is available now for the European market (€60, Windows Marketplace) and will be available for the US on November 15 ($30, Windows Marketplace).
Forerummer 910XT measures swim, run, bike metrics
Garmin just introduced the Forerunner 910XT multisport watch. The higher-end tracker has a built-in GPS sensor and provides detailed swim metrics as well as distance, speed, pace, elevation, and heart rate for running and cycling. It is waterproof up to 50 meters deep (164 feet). The barometric altimeter also provides more accurate elevation data.
LightSquared has tech to solve GPS-4G interference
LightSquared during a call on Wednesday that it had developed a fix for its GPS interference complaints. Working with an unnamed top GPS company, it hoped to rebuff GPS industry criticism with an example of GPS technology that could get an accurate position lock without running up against LightSquared's LTE wireless. The change runs on existing hardware and is "affordable," executive regulatory VP Jeff Carlisle said.
Uses subscription model instead of one-time fee
Garmin has launched StreetPilot onDemand, its latest GPS app for iOS. The title is essentially identical to the original StreetPilot, but with the key difference of a separate pricing model. While the original app is avalaible for a flat $60 pricetag, onDemand has an initial cost of just 99 cents, the catch being a need for a monthly or annual subscription to enjoy "premium" features such as turn-by-turn navigation, traffic updates, and public transportation data integrated into pedestrian directions. Each copy of onDemand comes with a 30-day trial of the Premium mode.
Garmin details 2012 nuvi PNDs due in October
Garmin on Wednesday took the covers off the 2012 lineup of its nuvi portable GPS navigation devices. Some sport either the new Guidance 2.0 or 3.0 navigation engines that are said to offer a faster interface and more features. The six lines were divvied up into three categories: Essential, Advanced and Prestige.
Devices track and collect performance data
Garmin has brought out two new tracking devices aimed at cyclists. The Edge 200 Cycling GPS tracks basic information including tracks time, distance, speed, location and calories burned. The Vector captures more sophisticated information about the cyclist's performance in real time.
LightSquared claims GPS field breaking rules
LightSquared late Thursday sent a letter to the FCC (below) blaming the entire GPS industry for its 4G interference trouble. It accused many companies of breaking the Department of Defense's 2008 filtering guidelines for GPS reception. If companies had filtered out nearby frequencies like suggested, they wouldn't have the issue, the LTE Internet startup argued.
Tech integral to modern cellular systems
Apple, Amazon, Nokia, Research in Motion and several other companies are all violating patents related to GPRS networking, a new lawsuit alleges. The plaintiff is GPNE, a company based in Honolulu, Hawaii. GPRS is the basic data platform associated with modern GSM phone networks. 3G, in the form of HSPA, represents an additional layer.
TomTom loses North American share fast in 2011
TomTom issued a warning Monday that its GPS units were losing share to Android and iPhone hardware faster than it first thought. Its North American stake was seeing a "faster rate of decline" than it saw at the start and would plunge 30 percent for all of 2011. Europe was seeing an expected 10 percent drop, but more of these GPS navigators were entry models and fewer were being stocked in stores.
Garmin confirms Navigon deal
Garmin on Tuesday confirmed earlier rumors and bought Navigon. The takeover of the German GPS designer is meant both to boost Garmin's core in-car navigation but is also aimed at bolstering Garmin's position in smartphones. Navigon's stronger-selling Android and iPhone apps would help push the company forward, Garmin said.
Garmin may buy for Navigon deals
Garmin may be buying Navigon as a defense against the pressure on GPS devices from smartphones, sources divulged in a German leak on Friday. The deal would show Garmin taking advantage of Navigon's battering in the mapping business to pay something in the tens of millions of euros, considerably lower than what it would have been worth a few years ago. A deal could be completed as soon as June, the Financial Times Deutschland informants said.
Garmin Forerunner 610 adds touch to GPS running
Garmin stepped up the interface for its GPS watches on Tuesday through the new Forerunner 610. The addition gives it a more intuitive control scheme that lets runners plot their direction along with starting training routines. The surface is grayscale to save battery life and is also weatherproof, making it safe to use not just in rain but after a sweat-inducing run.
TomTom rebuffs rumors of map unit sell-off
TomTom executive committee member Taco Titulaer on Thursday rejected a rumor started by analyst group Mergermarket that it was selling off its map content division. The former Tele Atlas group would stay intact and wasn't on sale at all. Its navigation data was "core to [TomTom's] strategy and product offering," Titulaer told Reuters.
Tracker attaches to backpacks, pet collars, kids
Garmin has introduced the GTU 10 GPS tracking device. The small gadget is lightweight (48.5g) and waterproof making it useful for numerous applications. Among its suggested uses include tagging it to luggage, pet collars and even children so that a parent can note their child’s location. Users simply log into their computer to be able to view its location. Users can also download the Garmin Tracker app for their mobile device to be able to compare their current location to that of the GTU 10.
Garmin StreetPilot for iPhone hits with nuvi 2400
Garmin kicked off CES today with not just a GPS unit but its first-ever iPhone navigation app. StreetPilot ($40, App Store) reflects Garmin's exit from smartphones and gives iPhone users full spoken, turn-by-turn directions. It provides many of the features of high-end GPS units, including lane assist, both 2D and 3D map views, weather and real-time traffic.
Christmas 2010 present comments
Those of us marking Christmas today have very likely received technology gifts as presents. We'd like to start a new tradition and ask: what technology did you get as presents this year? Let us know in the comments, and we'll provide a brief sample of our gifts after the story break.
T-Mobile slashes Samsung Android prices early
T-Mobile today quietly cut prices permanently on some of Samsung's Android devices unusually early. Its version of the Galaxy Tab is now the least expensive of any US carrier when attached to a contract, dropping $50 to $350. The Vibrant has itself dropped down to $150 on similar terms.
Best Buy post-BF deal gives free GPS with iPod
Best Buy today kicked off a post-Thanksgiving sale with a heavy emphasis on iPods. The deal gives those who buy an 8GB fourth-generation iPod touch a free GPS unit from the store's in-house Insignia badge. Other iPods are also on sale, ranging from $5 for a fourth-generation iPod shuffle to $10 off new iPod nanos and $15 off the iPod classic.
Garmin Q3 marks exit from smartphone business
Garmin while discussing its summer fiscal results today confirmed that it was quitting the smartphone business. The company decided after considering its position that it "cannot reach the scale necessary" to compete with others in smartphones and was shutting down its efforts. Staff involved in research and development would be moved to the in-car GPS team and other areas where the company was still growing, it said.
Garmin Approach S1 brings GPS watches to golf
Garmin brought out a unique addition to its golf GPS mix today in the Approach S1. The wristwatch is the first tailored to the sport and uses maps of 14,000 golf courses to find the distance in yards either to the hole, the middle of the green or the start. The at-a-glance distances give golfers a quick way to decide on their choice of club and, as a pedometer, works to track the distance of the last shot.
Garmin and ASUS confirm split but make GPS deals
ASUS and Garmin today formally declared the end of their phone partnership but left room for collaboration and for expansion of Garmin's smartphone efforts to the iPhone and other platforms. Under the new deal, ASUS will make phones by itself in the future but will use Garmin GPS apps on its Android phones for "a couple of years," according to ASUS' mobile lead Benson Lin. Garmin will continue to sell and support devices like the Garminfone and nuvifone G60, but it won't launch new models.
ASUS says Garmin phone partnership ending
An unnamed ASUS official today confirmed suspicions and said it was ending the Garmin-ASUS partnership on smartphones. More details were expected to become public on Tuesday. Garmin itself didn't comment on the Reuters statements.
Garmin-ASUS teamwork unlikely to live past January
Garmin and ASUS aren't likely to keep up their partnership past the start of the year, observers noted on Friday. Taiwan's Economic Daily News understood that the alliance is due to end in January and will likely see both companies split rather than renew their plans. Garmin had already hinted that the partnership was in doubt if poor sales didn't turn around.
Garmin intros chirp geocaching beacon
Garmin on Friday boosted its geocaching efforts with the unusual addition of a beacon. The chirp can be detected by most of Garmin's outdoor GPS units and will automatically unlock hints or other details when close by. Its owner has full control and can not only password-lock the beacon but create coordinates for a multi-cache set or check how many users have visited a given chirp unit.
Two more Android handsets also in the works
Garmin-Asus is reportedly preparing a Windows Phone 7 device, which is not expected to arrive on the market until early next year. The company also plans to expand its Android-based lineup in the Taiwan market, with one to two devices expected before the end of the year, according to a DigiTimes report.
Tracking features designed for runners
Garmin has added two models to its Forerunner line of GPS watches for runners, the Forerunner 410 and Forerunner 210. The Forerunner 410 introduces an all-weather enhanced touch bezel to make it easier to select features while running and allows users to customize up to three screens of information to track workouts. The Forerunner 410 also provides a wireless connection with an included USB dongle and automatically uploads data when in range of the user's PC.
MetriGear produces cycling power sensors
Garmin has announced its acquisition of MetriGear, a Silicon Valley-based startup that has focused on technology for bicyclists. The purchase is expected to help Garmin expand its fitness division, which currently offers a variety of Edge-series GPS systems that combine GPS tools with cycle computer functionality.
Garmin ready to halt phones soon if unsuccessful
Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman in an interview has said the company might back out of its smartphone business within the next half a year if it can't be turned around. He acknowledged to Reuters that devices like the Garminfone and nuvifone lines had undersold in the market and that the GPS maker would 'have to make decisions" as to whether it would redouble its efforts or back out. The company managed just $27 million in revenue from smartphones during the spring, far lower than competitors; Apple produced $5.33 billion from its iPhone business in the same period.
Garmin intros new connected navigation devices
Garmin has introduced a range of new portable navigation devices, including the 5-inch nüLink 1695 as well as the nüvi 2200 and nüvi 2300 ranges for budget-conscious drivers. The 1695 is an extra-large five-inch model centering on Garmin's nüLink service, which gives users access to Google Local Search and updated traffic, weather, fuel price, flight status and other information. Users can also buy optional services through the nüLink Store, such as weather forecasts that use Nexrad radar info and weather alerts.
Mapping for either on or off road
Garmin has unveiled the Edge 800 GPS for bicycle riders. The new system, which will show at Interbike and Eurobike, has mapping capabilities useful for road riders or those that prefer to hit the trail. It centers on a 2.6-inch touchscreen color display, is waterproof, and includes new mapping options such as Basecamp route planning and BirdsEye imagery.
Garmin issues recall for 1.25m GPSs over fires
Garmin issued a voluntary recall for about 1.25 million nüvi navigation devices on Wednesday. The request was due to the potential to catch fires, which is the result of the combination of a battery manufactured by a third party and a specific circuit board design. Nearly 800,000 of the affected units were sold in the US, and may include nüvi 200W, 250W, 260W and nüvi 700-series models.
Garmin makes just 27m in phone revenue
Garmin when discussing its spring results late last evening acknowledged that its smartphone business was struggling. The company made just $27 million of total revenue worldwide from the Garminfone and A10. The results were "below our plan" at Garmin and had spurred the GPS company to talk to carriers about "appropriate positioning" of its phones.
Garminfone price slash hints at low interest
T-Mobile contributed to concerns about ASUS and Garmin today by quietly dropping the price of the Garminfone from its original $200 to $130. The discount still needs a $50 rebate but appears to be permanent rather than a short-term sale. It follows just a month after the phone reached stores and is rare for any new device.
TomTom adds Yoda, Garmin gets KITT voice
As promised, TomTom has made Yoda's voice available for download for its compatible portable navigation devices. The speech pack is the third in a series of Star Wars character voices already on tap, joining C-3PO and Darth Vader. Han Solo's voice will be added in August.