Garmin and Asus have announced a strategic alliance to combine their navigation and mobile phone expertise. Together, they plan to release a line of co-branded location-centric smartphones.
Several models in the the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series are expected to be released this year, with a new one being unveiled at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in the middle of this month.
Probably the first device that will be released in this series, though, will be the nüvifone G60, which is simply a re-named version of the nüvifone that Garmin announced last year. This was developed in conjunction with Asus, so adding this company’s name to it won’t be that big a change.
More about the nüvifone Line
All the smartphones in this series will include location-based services and be able to, as the companies say, “seamlessly connect, communicate and navigate.” They will offer turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation features found on high-end Garmin portable navigation devices (PND).
Garmin and Asus glossed over some details on these upcoming models, including what operating system they will use, but future devices will almost certainly be based on Google’s Android OS. The original nüvifone G60 doesn’t use this operating system, but the two companies decided last year that future models would be Android based.
“Through this alliance, our companies will continue to develop innovations that simplify life. Our technologies should accommodate our customers, not the other way around. We believe all devices should perform and communicate seamlessly not just anytime and anyplace, but in real time, in real places, and we’re confident the nüvifone series will meet this objective,” said Jonney Shih, CEO of Asus.