Garmin Asus today announced a strategic alliance that will leverage the companies' navigation and mobile telephony expertise to design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones.
Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series. The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009.
"We believe that converged devices are an emerging opportunity," said Dr. Min Kao, chairman and CEO of Garmin Ltd. "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 LBS-centric mobile phones. We've been working with ASUS for over one year on the initial nüvifone 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 industry-leading 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. We believe that through this strategic alliance we are uniquely positioned to deliver the world's best integrated and most compelling GPS-enabled mobile devices."
"This alliance allows ASUS and Garmin to seamlessly combine the strength of both companies to offer the market leading mobile phone solutions that are of the highest design and quality. ASUS and Garmin both believe strongly in the continuous investment of R&D resources to always provide the leading-edge innovations to people and businesses," said Jonney Shih, CEO of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. "Through this alliance, our companies will continue to develop innovations that simplify life. Our technologies should accommodate our customers, not the other way around. We believe all devices should perform and communicate seamlessly not just anytime and anyplace, but in real time, in real places, and we're confident the nüvifone series will meet this objective."
All Garmin-Asus nüvifone devices will continue the product vision of the original nüvifone and will be LBS-centric devices that connect, communicate and navigate. The original Garmin nüvifone that was announced in 2008 will be 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 trade show.
LBS functionality is core to the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series, which will offer the same
turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features found on Garmin portable navigation devices (PND). It has preloaded maps and millions of points of interest, 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 n?vifone 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 into one device.
The new G60 supports quad-band voice, tri-band data, wireless internet connection, Wi-Fi b/g with WPA encryption, full html browser, a screen with portrait and landscape view of each screen and virtual QWERTY keyboard on touchscreen.
The Garmin-Asus alliance was disclosed during a press conference in Taiwan on February 4.