We've all had them: relationships where we know we should walk away, but just can't bring ourselves to let go. Garmin-Asus may no longer be pushing their co-branded smartphone vision, but they're not ready for a complete divorce. Instead, ASUS has exclusively licensed Garmin's PND software for its Android devices.
Garmin has officially confirmed its divorce from ASUS, with the company confirming last week's rumors regarding the ill-fated Garmin-Asus partnership. Describing the move as "new mobile handset strategies," the non-press-speak version is that while existing Garmin-Asus devices will remain on sale, the two companies won't be working together on new models.
"Down dooby-do down down," sang Neil Sedaka, "breaking up is hard to do." Fitting words for Garmin-Asus today, who have apparently confirmed their intent to dissolve the current partnership come January 2011. Afterward, ASUS will resume sole branding of its handset business, while Garmin will be able to spread its PND services to a wider range of devices and companies.
Garmin-Asus has confirmed that, while the company expects to release smartphones running Windows Phone 7, there won't be any handsets from them using the Microsoft OS until 2011. Speaking at the Singapore launch of the nuvifone A50 and A10, ASUS business development manager for handheld sales Fei Yen told CNET Asia that while the company has engineers working on Microsoft's platform at the moment, there are "no plans to launch Windows Phone this year."
If you're not taken with the LG Ally on Verizon, how about a different Android smartphone this month? T-Mobile have announced pricing and (rough) availability for the Garminfone, the touchscreen GPS-centric handset unveiled late last month. The handset will drop in June, priced at $199.99 with a new, two-year agreement.
Garmin-Asus have announced their latest smartphone, the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A10, a new Android-based handset which is apparently optimized for pedestrian navigation. The A10 has a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen supporting multitouch, 5-megapixel camera, GPS and comes preloaded with mapping data and - optionally - cityXplorer guides to public transit systems.
While the marketing for the A10 is being targeted at those traveling on foot, automobile users aren't left behind either. In the box there's a powered audio mount for the A10, with a loudspeaker for more audible voice navigation prompts. Meanwhile there's also the usual bevy of Android apps together with Microsoft Exchange support and access to the Android Market.
The first nuvifone took its time reaching the market and met with disappointing reviews when it finally made it, so you could argue the bar is set low for the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50. The first in the model range to run Android, we grabbed some hands-on time with the A50 at MWC 2010 this week; turns out, the partnership have learnt plenty from their first efforts, and while the smartphone won't knock HTC off their perch it joins the ringing death-knell of standalone PNDs. More first-impressions after the cut.
We already knew that Garmin-Asus were bringing smartphones to market together. In fact, we have already seen early reviews and know the details of the M10 Windows Mobile smartphone. Today Garmin-Asus has officially announced the expected launch date for the M10 in Europe and Asia.
We have already heard a bit about the Garmin-Asus M10 smartphone and it has even tipped up in a review already. The M10 isn't the only smartphone inbound from Garmin-Asus, it also has an Android sibling called the A50 set to launch in the first half of 2010.
Garmin-ASUS' M10 may no longer be the only Windows Mobile 6.5.3 smartphone we know about - what with the Sony Ericsson Aspen launching this morning - but it's one of the first to be caught in the wild. Two Chinese sites have managed to acquire the M10 and put it through its paces, mPro and GPC, including comparison shots with other handsets and photo samples from the 5-megapixel camera.