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Location-centric phones coming soon

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:phone mobile? location centric phone? Garmin Asustek nüvifone?

Garmin Ltd and AsusTeK Computer Inc. have announced a strategic alliance to design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones.

The two companies have already begun joint development on a diverse mobile phone product line, which will be called the Garmin-Asus n�vifone series. The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus n�vifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus n�vifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 16-19, 2009.

"We believe that converged devices are an emerging opportunity," said Min Kao, chairman and CEO of Garmin. "This alliance is advantageous to both companies because it allows us to combine our resources and establish a strong foundation from which we will innovate and introduce the world to the benefits of location-based service (LBS)-centric mobile phones. We've been working with Asus for over one year on the initial n�vifone that was announced in 2008 on the basis of an ODM relationship. Learning from this experience, we concluded that by leveraging and combining our respective areas of expertise at a higher level, we will be able not only to significantly expand our product line, but also to shorten our product development time."

"This alliance allows Asus and Garmin to seamlessly combine the strengths of both companies to offer mobile phone solutions that are of the best design and highest quality. Asus and Garmin both believe strongly in the continuous investment of R&D resources to unfailingly provide leading-edge innovations to people and businesses," said Jonney Shih, chairman of AsusTeK.

Connect, communicate and navigate
All Garmin-Asus n�vifone devices will continue the product vision of the original n�vifone and will be LBS-centric devices that connect, communicate and navigate. The original Garmin n�vifone that was announced in 2008 will be re-branded as the Garmin-Asus n�vifone G60. The Garmin-Asus n�vifone G60 is expected to be delivered in 1H 09, and additional information about the Garmin-Asus n�vifone G60 will be released at the Mobile World Congress trade show.

LBS functionality is core to the Garmin-Asus n�vifone series, which will offer the same turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features found on high-end Garmin portable navigation devices. It has 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 n�vifone includes access to online points of interest through Internet-enabled local search. The n�vifone harnesses the power of the Web, and information about local merchants and attractions is continually updated. The n�vifone also features Ciao!, a social networking application that bridges the gap between multiple location-based social networks.

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