We heard they’d be drumming up to it before, but it’s official: Garmin doesn’t expect to be any more aggressive with their smartphone strategy. In fact, they will be winding down and will continue to focus on aviation, maritime, and standalone consumer units as they return to familiar territory.
It wasn’t surprising at all. Garmin-ASUS entered an aggressive smartphone market even before Google introduced Android and the subsequent release of free Navigation. A GPS phone seemed like a golden idea when the two companies partnered up in 2007, but that golden idea suddenly began to look bronze as competitors opted to create downloadable applications for smartphones instead.
Users found it hard to get excited about a GPS phone when their favorite smartphones already did the trick well enough. Their Android-based strategy didn’t help considering Google had already wowed their users with a free navigation suite. Even if Google Maps isn’t perfect, pricing ruled this market and free is better than not free, simply put.
Garmin’s solution offered a unique angle in that you didn’t need an internet connection to use the GPS features and that their rerouting algorithms were superior to others’, but little else was of worth. We’re still hoping they’ll reconsider their smartphone strategy and head to the app stores and markets of Google and its competitors (Garmin is offering their Android application exclusively for ASUS devices as a consolation prize going forward), but for now, it’s officially time to say goodbye to Garmin-ASUS.