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Jun 2, 2008

Garmin to Debut GPS Phone

GPS device maker Garmin Ltd. will soon unveil it own mobile phone the Taiwan Economic News reported today. Codenamed "Nuvifone" the smartphone will reportedly make its debut at a telecom fair scheduled for June 17 in Singapore. So far the world's largest GPS manufacturer has not confirmed this report.

More from the Economic News:

The phone is built with Ericsson`s 3.5-generation EMP chip solution and a unique operating software developed by Garmin itself.

Although Nokia, HTC and Asustek have added GPS to their phones, their phones do not have GPS interface on screen as Garmin`s, on which map location of the holder of the phone number pops up as soon as the phone user dials the number.

The report quotes unnamed people familiar with Garmin`s plan as stating that Garmin intended to sell the device at telecom carriers like AT&T instead of the retail stores where its other GPS devices are sold.

The move into mobile phones has been widely expected within the industry as sales of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) have cooled. Garmin recently warned that it would have trouble achieving its goal of a 42% sales growth this year. For the first quarter, Garmin reported revenue of $663.8 million, an increase of 35%. However, net income was rose just 5.7%, the lowest in three years. The company`s stock has recently averaged about $47, down sharply from its high $125 last year.

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