Garmin and ASUSTeK announced a partnership that will combine the companies’ navigation and mobile phone expertise to create co-branded location-centric mobile phones. We’ve heard about the nüvifone before, but this is the first comment we’ve heard about an official Garmin and ASUS partnership on the device.
According to the announcement, Garmin and ASUS have been working together for over a year on the basis of an ODM relationship to create the initial nüvifone that was announced in 2008. From this experience, the companies concluded that they would be best off by leveraging and combining their expertise at a higher level. Through this partnership, the companies hope that the product line will expand and the product development time will decrease.
The companies expect to deliver several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models this year. The first new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model is expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show that begins on February 16th. The device itself should be available sometime in the first half of this year.
The Garmin-Asus nüvifone devices will continue the product vision of the original nüvifone, which included location-based devices that seamlessly connect, communicate, and navigate. The devices will offer the same turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features that are currently found on Garmin GPS devices. In addition to preloaded maps and millions of points of interest, the nüvifone will be able to make use of Internet-based local search capabilities. For social networking, the nüvifone features Ciao!, which integrates multiple location based social networks into the device. The original Garmin nüvifone that was announced last year will be re-branded as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60.
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