While making their grim quarterly financial statement, Garmin voiced their disappointment in nüvifone’s sales numbers, but has pledged to put more R&D into nüvifone to make it work over the coming quarters. Of course, their core business for personal navigation devices has been hurting ever since Google and, to a lesser extent, Nokia announced free turn-by-turn directions in their mobile maps applications.
The nüvifone family is to date four members strong: the Linux G60 currently on AT&T, Windows Mobile M10 and M20, and Android A50. Having played with the whole lot at MWC, I’m pretty happy with the execution and concept of navigation-centric handsets, especially on Android, but it seems like the market at large hasn’t really been hooked in yet. Outside of the U.S. and Taiwanese launch of the M10, not many carrier deals have been struck up, but let’s be fair – Garmin and ASUS are still relatively new to the whole mobile phone thing, it will take them some time to get those carrier relationships locked down. Let’s just hope they can do that before the nüvifone name becomes too much of a financial liability and Garmin is forced to pull the plug.