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Archive for the ‘garmin’ Category

Garmin is about to reveal Android phone

Google took a shot at Garmin International’s business when it built the power of navigation into an update of its Android operating system last fall.

Now Garmin is prepared to unleash a new phone, built for that same Android system and its ability to team with Google’s fast-growing catalog of new applications.

The Olathe-based company said in a release today that the new Garminfone — price for the gadget and its service are secret — would go on sale through T-Mobile this spring.

While the Garminfone comes armed with the social networking standards that define the latest smart phones — easy access to personal and work e-mail, Facebook and YouTube — the release announcing the device emphasizes its powers of location.

The phone won’t just give you driving directions to your destination, it will lead you back to where you parked your car, document where you took photos with the gadget, and pluck addresses from an e-mail or calendar.

It will operate on two forms of navigation — traditional satellite GPS signals and so-called assisted-GPS that garners a location based on distance from multiple cell phone towers. It is operational indoor where satellite signals can’t be reached.

Garmin entered the phone market last year, first debuting its Nuvifone overseas and then the Nuvifone G60 in the United States in October. Min Kao, Garmin’s chairman and chief executive, has admitted being “disappointed” in sales but hopeful that snazzier advances in smart phones would give the navigation company a stronger foothold in the market.

Smart phones, in fact, could be seen as a threat to Garmin’s once-burgeoning prospects. The gadgets now often are sold with optional navigation services — typically good-enough directions drawn from calculating a user’s distance from cell phone towers.

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Garmin nuvifone Priced at $500 by AT&T?

Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of the Garmin nuvifone, proclaiming that it could very well be the best iPhone competitor to date. At the time, we had an idea what the spec sheet would look like, but we were left scratching our heads over how much the thing would cost. Well, that information seems to have leaked itself out too.

Current word on the street is that AT&T will be launching the Garmin nuvifone later this year for $499.99, assuming that you’ll sign up for a two-year contract. The other part of the equation is that you’ll be able to add the $19.99/month option to get unlimited Internet and GPS navigation. This option goes on top of a voice plan, of course.

As you may recall, the Garmin nuvifone comes with HSDPA, WiFi, a 3-megapixel camera, and — of course — integrated Garmin GPS navigation. Is it worth the premium over the iPhone to get real-time GPS? What if the 3G iPhone brings navigation to the table?

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