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.
Nuvio sues Garmin GPS
Garmin's Nuvifone is emulating the iPhone in more than just functionality, as business phone service provider Nuvio confronts the GPS Company with a lawsuit over trademark infringement. In a move that resembles the earlier Cisco-Apple iPhone dispute, Nuvio claims that the Nuvifone is a registered trademark, one that Garmin is knowingly and willfully appropriating. Nuvio says that it attempted to reach a mutual arrangement with Garmin before filing, but the efforts failed.
Garmin Wednesday night surprised the cellphone industry by taking its own leap into smartphones. The Nuvifone aims both to compete with the iPhone as well as to bring Garmin's experience with GPS navigation to the forefront. Almost entirely controlled by a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface, the device centers around its native GPS unit: in addition to straightforward navigation, a host of Google apps allow it to search for local businesses, check traffic, and view nearby weather. Any photos or videos taken with the built-in camera are automatically geotagged for positioning in location-based services.