Garmin nuvifone finally about to ship out (to Taiwan)


Do you remember where you were back on January 30th of 2008? CrunchGear was at a Garmin event in New York City watching the GPS company announce its very own smartphone. Fast forward to today, and the device is finally about to ship. Two devices, actually — the Linux-based nuvifone G60 and the nuvifone M20, which runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.

Don’t bother trying to pick either of the phones up here in the US, though, as they’re just shipping in Asia. The G60 will go on sale in Taiwan on July 27, while the M20 will be available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia sometime in August.

And what, praytell, does a year and a half of waiting get you?

“The Garmin-Asus nüvifone series is a breakthrough product line that integrates navigation and location based services (LBS) like no other phone in the market today. It is ideal for those seeking an all-in-one, LBS-centric touchscreen phone, mobile web-browser and personal navigator. The nüvifone G60 and M20 have touchscreen displays that feature three primary icons – “Call,” “Search” and “View Map.” Customers can easily scroll through the other icons by swiping their finger across the displays, and a built-in accelerometer allows every screen to be viewed in either portrait or landscape orientation.”

So it’s a cell phone with a web browser, GPS with turn-by-turn directions, and an accelerometer. There’s also a built-in camera that geotags photos.

I’m sure the navigation stuff is top notch and the device itself still does look pretty nice even a year and a half later, but I’m forecasting that Garmin’s going to have a hell of a time selling a ton of these given the amount of similarly-equipped devices on the market. It may be able to find a niche with delivery people and other segments that rely heavily on GPS features, though.

No firm word on pricing yet or when it’ll be coming to the States aside from “the second half of 2009.” Hey, that’s almost now! Or it could be Christmas time. Either one. The G60 will be available here and in Europe, while the M20 will be available just in Europe.


Garmin-Asus nuvifone Available for Purchase in Asia [Press Release]