Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 lands in Taiwan on 27th; M20 in August

Jul 24, 2009
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Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 lands in Taiwan on 27th; M20 in August

Garmin-ASUS have announced that the long-awaited nuvifone G60 touchscreen GPS cellphone will go on sale in Taiwan on July 27th, followed by a Singaporean and Malaysian launch in August alongside the Windows Mobile-based nuvifone M20.  The G60 should then arrive in Europe and the US in the second half of this year, as previously reported, while the M20 will bypass the US altogether but hit Europe, again, in 2H09.

Release schedules for the nuvifone G60 have been something of a running joke over the past year, with the handset first tipped to arrive in Q2 2008.  It's a quadband GSM, triband (850/1900/2100) HSDPA 3.6Mbps device, with WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, a 3-megapixel autofocus camera and, of course, GPS.  It runs Garmin's custom software on top of a Linux core, with a 3.55-inch resistive touchscreen and up to 4hrs talktime.

As for the M20, that runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and has dualband HSPA (900/2100), WiFi b/g, Bluetooth and a 3-megapixel autofocus camera.  Its display is smaller, at 2.8-inches, still resistive, and there's GPS for geotagging and navigation.  No prices for either device have been released.

The release ties into a preview piece from a Malaysian site [via GPSTracklog] published earlier this week, with more screenshots than you could hope for and, in the short time they had to play, generally positive feedback.  You can check out our hands-on with the two nuvifone models here

Press Release:

Garmin-Asus nüvifone™ Available for Purchase in Asia

CAYMAN ISLANDS & TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin-Asus, a co-branded alliance between Garmin® Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (TAIEX: 2357), announced that the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 will go on sale in Taiwan on July 27, and in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of August. Also in August, the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20 will go on sale in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

“We can’t wait for our customers to start using a nüvifone,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “Our lives are all about location. The nüvifone is designed around that premise and that’s what differentiates it from the myriad of other phones on the market.”

“Whether it’s talking and navigating simultaneously, geotagging a photograph or navigating to an address on the web, the nüvifone seamlessly links navigation with other commonly performed activities,” said Benson Lin, Asus Vice President and General Manager of Handheld Business Group.

The Navigation Phone

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone series is a breakthrough product line that integrates navigation and location based services (LBS) like no other phone in the market today. It is ideal for those seeking an all-in-one, LBS-centric touchscreen phone, mobile web-browser and personal navigator. The nüvifone G60 and M20 have touchscreen displays that feature three primary icons – “Call,” “Search” and “View Map.” Customers can easily scroll through the other icons by swiping their finger across the displays, and a built-in accelerometer allows every screen to be viewed in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Navigate Wherever, Whenever

The nüvifone G60 and M20 come with preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or specific Asia-Pacific regions. Since the maps reside on the nüvifone, customers will receive turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions to millions of destinations without accessing their carrier’s data plan. The nüvifone G60 and M20 utilize a real GPS receiver with hotfix, in addition to A-GPS (assisted GPS), so that customers always have directions at their fingertips, regardless of if they are in their provider’s coverage area.

Just as with Garmin’s acclaimed nüvi® product line, the nüvifone series has millions of preloaded points of interest (POIs) including hotels, restaurants and street addresses. The POIs can be easily accessed for turn-by-turn voice prompted directions. If a turn is missed along the route, the nüvifone G60 and M20 will automatically recalculate a route and get the user back on track. The nüvifone also offers a “Where am I?” feature so that users will know their exact latitude and longitude coordinates, nearest address, intersection, hospital, police station and gas station with one touch of the screen. And to help them find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot, the nüvifone automatically marks the position in which it was last removed from the windshield mount. The nüvifone comes with a unique suction cup mount cradle that fastens to the windshield and will also charge the device while it is being used.

Connect and Communicate

Although navigation is a key component of the nüvifone series, the devices do more than “just navigate.” Both the nüvifone G60 and M20 incorporate top-of-the-line phone capabilities with premium features such as 3.5G data connectivity, SMS text messaging, email, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more.

The nüvifone G60 and M20 have a full HTML browser that customers can easily zoom in or pan with their finger, and pages may be viewed in either portrait or landscape. Users can surf the web on their phone via Wi-Fi or 3G networks, and the pages are presented similar to a PC browser.

Everything You Need

Customers will also enjoy the benefit of location-based services seamlessly integrated with nüvifone’s intuitive user interface and turn-by-turn navigation. Users can supplement the preloaded POI data with Internet enabled local searches and automatically navigate around traffic congestion while seeing the estimated traffic delay along their route. Other services include weather, gas prices, flight status, local events, movie times, Ciao!™and more (content pricing and availability may vary by country).

The nüvifone G60 and M20 include a built-in camera with auto-focus. The camera automatically geotags images with an exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. The user may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location or email the geo-tagged image to others. The nüvifone also provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through select picture sharing site, which are searchable and are sorted by the distance from the current location.

Specifications

nüvifone G60 nüvifone M20
2G Connectivity Quad-band GSM / GPRS / Edge 850/900/1800/1900 Tri-band GSM / GPRS / Edge 900/1800/1900
3G Connectivity 850/1900/2100 HSDPA 3.6 Mbps 900/2100 HSPA 7.2 Mbps
Other Connectivity 802.11 b/g WLAN, Bluetooth, HFP, HSP, AVRCP, A2DP mini-USB 2.0 802.11 b/g WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP, mini USB 2.0
OS Linux (closed platform) Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (Upgradeable to WM 6.5)
Camera 3MP camera with auto-focus and geo-tagging 3MP camera with auto-focus and geo-tagging
Dimensions 112 x 58.1 x 14.6 mm 95.3 x 52.5 x 12.8 mm
Display 3.55", 65K, anti-glare resistive touchscreen 2.8", 65K, TFT with touch lens
Email POP3 / IMAP4 / SMTP Push / Enterprise / POP3 / IMAP4 / SMTP
Internet HTML browser based on Webkit platform OPERA browser, HTML, WAP 1.2.1/2.0
Messaging SMS SMS / MMS / IM
Talk Time Up to 4 hours 3G: Up to 3.5 hours / 2G: Up to 2.8 hours

Price and Availability

The nüvifone G60 will be available in Taiwan on July 27, and in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of August. The nüvifone G60’s distribution strategy for the Asia-Pacific market will differ by country. In Asia, it will be available through carriers and retail channels. The nüvifone G60 is on schedule for delivery in Europe and the United States in the second half of 2009, and additional details about pricing, availability and carriers will be announced in the coming months.

The nüvifone M20 will be available in August in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The nüvifone M20’s distribution strategy for the Asia-Pacific market will differ by country. In Asia, it will be available through carriers and retail channels. The nüvifone M20 is on schedule for delivery in Europe in the second half of 2009, and additional details about pricing, availability and carriers will be announced in the coming months.

Additional information about the nüvifone product line is available at www.GarminAsus.com.

About Garmin-Asus

Garmin-Asus is a co-branded strategic alliance that enables Garmin Ltd. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. to combine their complementary resources to develop world class LBS-centric mobile phones.

About Garmin Ltd.

The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin Ltd. and its subsidiaries have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications since 1989 – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200.

About ASUS

ASUS is a leading company in the new digital era. With a global staff of more than ten thousand and a world-class R&D design team, the company’s revenue for 2008 was 8.1 billion U.S. dollars. ASUS ranks among BusinessWeek’s “InfoTech 100,” and has been on the listing for 12 consecutive years.

ASUS is a registered trademark of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Garmin and nüvi are registered trademarks, and nüvifone and Ciao! are trademarks, of Garmin Ltd.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.


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