The Garmin-Asus nüvifone joint venture has taken on another family member today: the A50, rocking Android. It has 3G, a 3.5” capacitive touchscreen, GPS, and supports Microsoft Exchange sync. The running theme with nüvifone has been navigation and location-based services, and includes stuff like car mount-optimized user interface, and an additional side-mounted GPS unit.
Garmin-Asus is also making a lot of noise about the Windows Mobile-powered M10, which had made its first appearance in Taiwan last month. Before that, AT&T was offering the Linux-powered G60, received with little acclaim. Personally, I find the idea of a handset built from the ground up with an eye on GPS is a great idea, especially since Google is eating Garmin’s lunch when it comes to straight-up navigation services.
Garmin-Asus sounded pretty cock-sure that they were going to do an Android handset when I talked to them last year at Mobile World Congress, and we’ll undoubtedly see the A50 and M10 at this year’s event. As for when the populace at large will be able to pick up either of them, the nüvifones should be spreading across Europe in the first half of 2010.
[via Garmin Blog]