The Mobile World Congress 2009 (MWC 2009) is still two weeks away and Garmin and Asus already detonate a major announcement. Garmin and ASUSTeK today announced a strategic alliance to make Garmin-Asus branded location-centric mobile phones.
The new Garmin-Asus nüvifone series will feature several models in 2009 starting with the Garmin-Asus G60. The original Garmin nüvifone that was announced in 2008 will be actually re-branded as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60. The Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2009, and additional information about the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 will be released at the Mobile World Congress 2009.
The LBS functionality is core to the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series, which will offer the same
turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features found on high-end Garmin portable navigation devices (PND).
The Garmin-Asus phones have preloaded maps and millions of points of interest that allow drivers to quickly find a specific street address, establishment’s name or search for a destination by category. In addition, the nüvifone includes quick access to online points of interest through internet enabled local search. The nüvifone harnesses the power of the worldwide web and information about local merchants and attractions is continually updated.
The nüvifone also features Ciao!, a social networking application that bridges the gap between multiple location based social networks and integrates them seamlessly into one device.
Garmin and Asus will hold a press-conference today to reveal more details on this partnership. This sounds like a good move for Garmin. Making their own smartphones would have been a big risk. Partnering with Asus who has already made some smartphones make sense.
Via the Garmin-Asus site.