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Tag - Nuvifone
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 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 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.
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.
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.
ASUS earlier today denied claims the Garminfone was selling poorly at T-Mobile. The Taiwan firm said shipments were as planned and that it had "positive demand," but didn't provide numbers. Morgan Keegan analyst Yair Reiner had estimated from visits to 50 T-Mobile stores that ASUS and Garmin shipped just 20,000 Garminfones since they went on sale in early June.
Garmin has quietly introduced the nüvi 295W, a new navigation device featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. The overall form factor gives the 295W an appearance similar to a smartphone, while the feature set is similar to a nüvifone without the voice communication capabilities. The device even automatically reorients the 3.5-inch touchscreen for portrait or landscape use.
Garmin has finally disclosed launch details for its Garminfone handset, which will ship next month on T-Mobile for $199. The device is based on the company's nuvifone A50, however the nuvifone's feature phone OS has been placed with Android.
Garmin-ASUS today launched its third Android phone in less than a year. Unlike the driving-oriented Garminfone and its A50 sibling, the A10 puts its focus on walking directions and has custom GPS software tailored to on-foot GPS. A newer version of Android is also probable as the phone supports multi-touch in the web browser.
Garmin today unveiled its first true American smartphone today by launching the Garminfone with T-Mobile. The adaptation of the nuvifone A50 runs Android rather than the original nuvifone's feature phone OS and gives it the full Google OS while layering on Garmin's traditional GPS navigation interface. Like a nuvi, it provides full spoken turn-by-turn directions and comes with a dash mount.