Garmin Android Phone Coming in 2009!

Everyone knows Garmin, the company leading the GPS navigation industry. Most Android fans also know that the GPS applications available on the Android Market are currently limited to ONE application – AndNav2 – which is in Alpha stages and isn’t yet available for the United States. Worry not, because in the 2nd half of 2009, Garmin will be releasing their very own Android Phone!

This is incredibly exciting news but not all that surprising: Garmin announced their entry into the mobile market almost a year ago with the still unreleased Garmin Nuvifone and then they joined the OHA earlier this month. The next logical step? A Garmin Android Phone!

Here is a picture of the Garmin Nuvifone (Ths is NOT the Garmin Android):

An interesting fact to note: Garmin is outsourcing production of the Nuvifone to ASUS, a company that joined the Open Handset Alliance on the same day as Garmin. One can only expect that Garmin will outsource the production of their Android phone to ASUS as well.

What IS pleasantly surprising is their timeline for releasing this phone: by the 2nd half of 2009. We’ve seen the Nuvifone get delayed and delayed so we’re not exactly confident they’ll reach that goal, but at this point, you just have to be happy… or ELATED… that the navigation powerhouse will enter the Android Family with a device.

Tony An, Garmin’s Asia Pacific Marketing Director, dropped the knowledge:

Garmin will launch Nuvifone, its first GPS-enabled handset, in the Taiwan market in the second quarter of 2009, An noted. Garmin also plans to launch self-developed Android handsets in the second half of 2009, with production to be outsourced

While only Taiwan/Asia are mentioned, you HAVE to believe that the Garmin Android device wil be available in North America and hopefully, clarification will follow.

So this begs the question – will Garmin offer a navigation software for purchase on the Android Market or will Garmin’s proprietary, industry leading mapping and navigation software only be available for those that purchase an actual Garmin Android device?

I could see this going either way but ultimately, it’ll be about dollars and cents. I’m sure the financial gurus at Garmin are running contingency plans on every scenario possible, trying to find which distribution model will net the most profit/value/equity. Without access to any sort of numbers, I think they’d be foolish NOT to offer a paid application in the Android Market, providing buyers of their actual Android device with a additional perks and benefits that exceed the Android Market offering.

Lots to talk about… what do you think?

[Via CrunchGear, Digitimes]

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  • http://www.googleandblog.com/ Michael Martin

    Hmmm so the G2 wont be the Nuviphone.

    I agree Garmin should leverage its brand to put out a turn-by-turn Android navigation app.

    ,Michael Martin
    http://www.googleandblog.com/

  • http://stlbars.com Ryan

    Very exciting news here! Will it be called the “Gandroid”? Because that would be pretty sweet!

  • http://facepwn.com Manacit

    I would hope that Garmin would make their GPS software available to everyone – that would be the way they would make the most $$ on their device and all of the other Android phones w/ GPS; only time will tell however.

  • Rob Jackson

    @Ryan – Gandroid would be sweet? Sounds like the evil twin of Gandolf from Lord of The Rings. You know, in the futuristic movie where Lord of the Rings meets the Matrix… Gandroid: Lord of the Matrix.

    It’s Monday, give me a break… I’m trying to keep myself entertained over here…

  • http://dkworldwide.com/techlife Dave Kaufman – Techlife

    2 thoughts:

    Is Garmin a hardware or software company (Apple for example is a hardware company) If they are apple-esque then they won’t provide their software for other hardware, since that’s their advantage to sell these.

    Garmin has a deal with which carriers right now? Another interesting thing since most carriers offer GPS of some sort these days.

  • Bagha

    I have Garmin Nuvi and I have to say that it has the worst touchscreen I’ve used in any device. I shudder to think of having my phone/pda/gps/etc device controlled by such a bad touchscreen.

    I’m far from an iPhone fan, but one praise that I often hear for it is for its flush, glass touchscreen and that can be wiped straight across your shirt sleeve. You can tell by the picture of the nuviphone that it’s got the same, beveled-in type touchscreen common to antiquated devices from 15 years ago. It’s going to feel cheap, so I hope people try it out at a store before they look at the specs and order one.

  • http://www.droideo.com Droideo.com

    Lots to look forward to in 2009!

  • rakem

    I don’t care about cost I just want a turn by turn navigation system on my G1

    Get it done garmin or I’m gonna buy tom tom AND REALLY DISRESPECT YALL

  • agoes

    Great .. yeah

  • Phil

    If garmin doesn’t release an app for Android, I’m….I’m….well I guess I’ll just be pissed. But MAN, we need this app. And not a monthly thing. I want the maps physically stored on my SD card.

    Make me buy the CD with the maps on it Garmin, like you did with Palm, that would work great. But if you don’t make an app for Android, that would be crazy.

    Look at where Android is going! In 2 years, it’ll be in cars. 3 years, refrigerators, digital cameras.

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  • aaaaa

    I use a Garmin Edge 705 when cycling. Garmin hardware is good, Garmin software is probably the worst I’ve ever used. I’m hoping they fire all their software developers beforehand and just leave the software to Google.