As promised, the first new devices out of the Garmin-ASUS partnership are beginning to show their hand. First up is the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20, a 2.8-inch touchscreen Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device with dualband HSDPA, triband GSM and WiFi b/g. In keeping with the pairing’s obsession with location-based services (LBS), GPS and navigation get top billing: it comes preloaded with maps and points of interest (POIs) – hotels, restaurants, stores, fuel stations and more – for North America, Eastern and Western Europe, together with turn-by-turn voice prompts and auto route-recalculation.
In addition, since there’s an always-on data connection, the M20 throws in traffic information, White Pages, weather, flight status, local events, and movie times, together with links to social networking services with location mapping through Ciao!, which sounds quite a lot like Google Latitude. Details are scarce, but there also looks to be a custom GUI on top of WM6.1, and we also now the nuvifone M20 will come with either 4GB or 8GB of storage, and a 3-megapixel camera with geotagging.
Garmin-ASUS will announce pricing and availability details for the nuvifone M20 in the first half of 2009; the product page is here. They’ll be showing the M20 at MWC next week, so we’ll bring you live footage of the GPS-obsessed device from there.
Garmin-Asus Introduces nüvifone™ M20
BARCELONA, Spain/February 12, 2009/Business Wire — Garmin-Asus, a co-branded alliance between Garmin® Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (TAIEX: 2357), today announced the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20, an all-in-one phone, mobile web-browser and premium navigation system with a Windows Mobile operating system. The Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20 will be on display at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009, at the Garmin-Asus exhibit (Hall 7, #7C37).
As the first Garmin-Asus nüvifone powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with enterprise email, the sleek and colorful nüvifone M20 is designed for on-the-go professionals who want a fashionable and functional smartphone to manage their busy work and personal lives. This powerful device combines a dual-band 3.5G/tri-band GSM phone with Wi-Fi connectivity, desktop-like internet browser, push email, document viewing, multi-media capability, Bluetooth® and Garmin sat nav.
The nüvifone M20’s full QWERTY soft keyboard makes it easy to send and receive SMS, MMS and emails. The nüvifone M20 can also be synched with a computer so that contacts and emails are always available. HSDPA wireless connectivity and enterprise grade Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) ensure messages are sent and received quickly, including those with attachments.
Recognizing that location is relevant to every aspect of every day, the nüvifone M20 is designed with location based services (LBS) at its core and has the most advanced LBS experience of any Windows Mobile phone. Navigation functions are linked to frequently used applications such as calendar, contacts, email, internet applications and more, simplifying the nüvifone user’s day as they travel from one location to another.
The nüvifone M20 supports download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and offers a desktop-style web browsing experience. Users can zoom and pan web pages with their finger as they view the information in either portrait or landscape orientation. In addition, they can easily navigate to an address on a web page with only a few taps of the screen.
The GPS features of the nüvifone M20 usher in a level of sophistication never seen before on a Windows Mobile smartphone. It has the navigation capability of a premium Garmin nüvi® sat nav, and comes with preloaded maps and points of interest (POIs) – hotels, restaurants, stores, fuel stations and more – for North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or other regions. Selecting a destination is straightforward and requires limited input from the user. For example, users can search for a destination by typing in the specific name or address of an establishment, search by category, or navigate to addresses in the nüvifone M20’s contact database or on the web. The device then gives turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions and automatically recalculates if a turn is missed along the way. In addition, the nüvifone includes quick access to online points of interest through internet enabled local search. The nüvifone harnesses the power of the worldwide web and information about local merchants and attractions is continually updated.
The nüvifone M20 takes GPS navigation one step further via Connected Services, a suite of online applications and data from Garmin-Asus that adds location intelligence to navigation, phone and browser functions. The expandable list of applications includes content like real-time traffic information, White Pages, weather, flight status, local events, and movie times.
The nüvifone product line also includes Ciao!™, a ground-breaking LBS application that helps users stay up to date on their friends’ whereabouts and status by linking numerous location-centric social networks. Through Ciao!, nüvifone users will see their friends’ location on a map and then be able to navigate to that location with ease. Nüvifone users can also choose to have the nüvifone automatically update their social network location information.
The nüvifone M20 has exceptional entertainment capabilities with the combination of a 2.8” TFT touch lens display, built-in microphone and speakers, built-in 4Gb/8Gb My Storage, and ActiveSync® for Outlook®, Microsoft® Office, and multi-media synchronization. The VGA (640×480) display brings action to life when watching video or looking at photographs. The three megapixel camera automatically geotags images with the exact latitude and longitudinal coordinates. Users can then save the image on their phone, email it to a friend, or navigate to where the image was taken.
Garmin-Asus expects to announce the nüvifone M20’s pricing and availability information in the first half of 2009. Journalists should contact Garmin-Asus media representatives to arrange product demonstrations or interviews. Additional information about the nüvifone product line is available at www.GarminAsus.com.
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.
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 the top 10 IT companies in BusinessWeek’s “InfoTech 100”, and has been on the listing for 11 consecutive years. ASUS was also selected by the Wall Street Journal Asia as No.1 in quality and service.
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.