Garmin Comes Clean on Poor Smartphone Sales



Ah, the T-Mobile Garminfone. You know, the one that apparently sold less than five units on average per T-Mobile store? Asus was quick to deny that the phone made by the navigation and hardware duo involving Garmin was seeing sales below what the companies expected. But now the song isn’t so familiar as Garmin reports on its second quarter earnings. They freely admit that their smartphone division hasn’t performed quite as well as they would have liked. While the Garminfone did help contribute to positive revenues, the official statement reads:

“Sales of our smartphone product category contributed $27M in revenue during the quarter. While this was below our plan, we are working aggressively with T-Mobile and other carriers around the globe on the appropriate positioning and pricing of our devices in the competitive smartphone space.”

I feel like a broken record when I say that the on-board maps allowing for data connection free navigation was never enough to salvage a phone with painfully average hardware and an aging Android 1.6 in a summer of phones launching with Android 2.1 and now seeing upgrades to Froyo. But at least Garmin and Asus can no longer sit in denial, and instead might be motivated to try something truly innovative in the realm of a navigation-centric Android smartphone. They better think of something quick, because stand-alone GPS devices are fast becoming a niche market in themselves thanks to the excellent navigation capabilities of today’s advanced mobile devices.

[via IntoMobile]

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  1. $27 Million revenue.
    Lets assume that Garmin as sold the phone to T-Mobile for $250 a piece. That equates to 108,000 handsets sold total.

  2. They need to just partner up with service providers (Like Verizon or whoever) and have built in Garmin Navigation on their phones. Like Sprint has Sprint Navigation.
    Trying to build a Navigation dedicated phone was/is stupid.

  3. For Garmin to succeed:

    1. Launch their next phone with ‘stock’ Android
    2. Use the best hardware available
    3. Have their maps installed and usable offline

    Let’s face it, the only real advantage they bring is offline GPS directions. So, don’t launch your product by screwing up #1 & #2.

  4. Garmin should sell their navigation app in the Android market place. If it were around $100 and came with free updates, it’d be a much better deal than a stand alone GPS unit and it’d have the extra benefit of real time traffic and up to date POI’s.

    I love Google Map’s navigation on my Nexus One but it’s worthless if you’re anywhere with less than a 3G connection. A Garmin App would provide offline navigation and it’d be perfect.

  5. xperia x10 has sold a lot more phones though they sold with 1.6 only. Maybe 1.6 is not the only factor

  6. @Bob your math is correct, but a total of 108,000 to date is woefully sad when Motorola, HTC, and Samsung are selling that many a week!

  7. @Bob – Probably not far off of the mark. Of course, we’re not talking anything of the liability side (cost of parts, R&D, advertising, shipping, labor, insurance, taxes, yada, yada), and you also have to take into account that the Android Garmin Phone isn’t their only phone. So, between all Garmin handsets, they only had about 108,000 handsets sold. That makes for an especially poor product launch.

  8. What a shocker. Why not buy a crappy phone? You can have data free maps that are by their very nature, out of date and DOA.

  9. Seems pretty obvious to me: sell a standalone navigation app that can run on ANY android phone, price it right ($40ish), and start cashing the checks.

  10. And it’s an ugly looking phone.

  11. @Tornadoes28 — I actually like the physical design of the phone but the hardware and software components kill it for me.

  12. bob: xperia x10 has a very fancy UI (see the power of custom skins?) Garmin was just…old.

  13. this is one of the stupidest smartphones that ever got release, its absolutely pathetic that they actually think this phone would sell, lmao these people crack me up

  14. I did see a commercial for it on the Travel Channel. I was watching Man vs food…yeah I know.

  15. Garmin will be successful when they have a subscription based app that provides offline navigation for $/month billed directly to users via the carriers.
    It would be even better if you could just subscribe to Garmin’s map service and get it on any device (phone, tablet, car etc.), but that will probably not happen any time soon if ever.

  16. Garmin needs to just sell their damn Mobile XT app in the Market. It would sell like hotcakes. Price it at $29.99 and watch the sales fly. They have it for WinMo, why not Android? I used to use it on my old WinMo phone and it was quite good.

  17. I’d love to know who these guys have doing market research, and what research they did that indicated this phone would to anything but tank.

  18. I actually have this phone and it’s a great phone if you travel a lot which I do..but I got it for free and would not have paid the premium for it but overall it’s a great phone.

  19. this phone sucks lol

  20. . The idea is great but needs to contend w evo and galaxy hardwRe. My biggest complaint on other phones is shitty gps so this should have been a fix.

  21. These (no earphone jack, 1.6 Android, slow processor, small memory, no USB-on-the-go, no commercial or subscription radio, fm transmit) are all valid points. Additionally I would suggest it be more like Garmin’s 3790T but add an up to date camera for geotagging with timed interval continuous photos, Also add: QWERTY slide out, mapping capability, external full size photo storage SDHC card port for ease-of-change capability, the new civilian/safety of life GPS and Galileo frequencies, world SBAS corrections, and/or subscription GPS correction capability for greater GPS accuracy

  22. Hardware wise this phone just can’t compete with newer Android devices, but I would love to have the Garmin software available to have on my phone. There are too many people talking crap about how the phones come with Google maps and Nav on it, but it’s only useful when receiving data from the network. In case anyone missed the fact that this on on T-Mobile, you would then understand that their 3g network isn’t as great as the others(Coverage wise), and that this phone could have really done well for someone on their network who travels quite a bit.

  23. what they should do….is build a TANK and call it a phone. There not going to go out there and Change the phone market by doing what everyone else has allready done…but they could Change the game by building a True Go anywere do Anything phone….Shock proof(resistant) Water Proof(resistant) GPS/Android phone.Have The phone Side load Water-Air charts. Put Blue Tooth on thier Radar and Radio units…make your Cell phone the Center of your garmin world.

  24. This artical mentions ” stand-alone GPS devices are fast becoming a niche market in themselves thanks to the excellent navigation capabilities of today’s advanced mobile devices”. I have tested quit a few of the more popular brands of mobile phone in all conditions and unless you are in the right place at the right time they just dont stack up to the standalone devices or the Garmin Asus devices. The A50 makes the rest of them look amaturish. Nothing like doing your own testing to get real results and not whats told to you.
    Just my opinion.

  25. It seems, that management of Garmin sucks. IMHO they are probably mentally to old to understand, what mobile phone market is, and what are the rules on that market. No one wants non competitive obsolete phone. And company, which is not focused on mobile phone market cannot simply compete with giants on that field. Garmin can make many other actions to earn money. They can sell apps for Android market, they can develop renting system of maps and turistic guides. I go to visit some country ones per live and I need their maps (street and topographic), but only for 3 weeks – why to pay 500EU for it???!!! Garmin let’s start do something for people and you will earn money on your way, otherwise you will end up as many other who miss their train.

  26. I have this phone and i love it ! but i travel alot so thats part why i like it !

  27. PROS: I love this phone, has garmin navigator, runs on satellite so if no data signal your navigator still works for free.
    free map updates , has wi-fi and 3 mp camera
    Phone is free and has android 2.1 update now,
    And for all they packed into it you can’t have everything!

    CONS: No flash,
    no wi fi calling
    navigator drains battery fast unless you have it hooked up to mount on dash that has charger built in, I only use navigator in car anyway.
    If you don’t travel a lot this phone is not for you.

    Garmin-asus are no longer partners and will not be making this phone anymore .. If I had have known this I would not have upgraded to it …. I could have returned it but I found I just like it to much.

    All in all I like this phone and besides I insured it so if it crashes t-mobile will have to give me another brand of phone lol.

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