Garmin-ASUS Partnership Will End Starting in January



You had to know it was coming, folks. It’s been thrown out there that Garmin and ASUS – the duo that brought us phones such as T-Mobile’s Garminfone, the A10, the Nuvifone, and more – will not be renewing their contract once it expires in January of 2011. This follows murmurs that the launch of the Garminfone was a commercial and critical failure, as well as other phones beneath their joint umbrella across Europe and North America.

The strategy to combine phone and GPS made sense back when this partnership was first inked, but the market has changed so drastically since then. As the smartphone market grows faster than we could’ve hoped for, innovation knows no limits and knows not how to slow down. Google’s own Android comes pre-installed with one of the most comprehensive maps and navigation suites you can find, and many of their competitors either do the same or offer maps and navigation via download.

And while Google Maps doesn’t provide the same experience as what Garmin-ASUS’ products does – installed maps for data-independent navigation – there are many options in the market that offer that fine alternative for a much cheaper price than what you’d have to pay for a new phone.

So the prospect of a GPS phone becomes unfruitful, because all smartphones are now GPS phones. At this point, if Garmin wants to take advantage of the booming smartphone market, their only choice will be and should be to get their applications up into app stores for every major mobile operating system.

They already have a head start with Android, so don’t be surprised to see them making their way to the market sometime next year. As for ASUS? Well… I guess they go back to a healthy peripheral strategy and churning out more PCs that no one ever hears or cares about since the introduction of the Eee.

[via Engadget]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. So Garmin/Motorola will begin in February?

  2. hopefully asus will now crank out some serious android phones

  3. I was told I could get a free Garmin for adding a new line to my family plan and easily passed the offer up. I would rather pay hundreds for a great android then get a crappy one for free.

  4. If Garmin had launched their phone before Google Navigation, they would have had an infinitely better chance to succeed.

  5. am I new to the game, or did anyone else notice that the screenshot shows “H” for connection speed.

  6. So what happens to those that have bought the phone? Will they still be bale to get service through T-Mobile?

  7. Hey Quentyn, easy on the ASUS bashing buddy. I’ve had nothing but ASUS mobos in all my home builds for years. ASUS to me is the most trusted brand in mobos, and they make other really good PC components as well. In fact, I am sporting an ASUS external DVD burner, and an ASUS 9800 GTX+ right now. They are a good company. They just made a terrible choice to try and get in on the mobile market. They need to stick with what they do best.

  8. I definitely recognize ASUS as a top leader in their peripheral market. Notice I called their strategy healthy. It’s their actual PCs and Laptops that don’t make much noise anymore. They were nearly the first to market with a netbook, but that’s all they’re known for in that sector.

  9. what a trip!!

  10. Garmin really blew this one. They made stand-alone smartphone software at one time, but I think they were blinded by their traditional strategy as a hardware company. They could have easily owned the mobile phone software market if they had seen that this was where it was heading. TomTom and others started making and selling software for iPhones, Android, WinMo, etc. And Garmin lost out. They might still be able to find a niche if they take that software that they wrote to run on their Android phone and published it to the market. Fortunately the Garmin name still means something.

  11. People can bash this phone all they want, but this device never fails to do what I need when I need it. I travel all over the US, and having the maps in my pocket has been a life-saver. Google maps doesn’t cut it in times like that.

    I paid $99.00 for it. Android 1.6 works just fine. In a year and a half I’ll get a new phone again. (shrug) No biggie.

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