Garmin Considering Exit From Smartphone Market
Personal navigation giant Garmin told Reuters this week that it will consider whether or not to pull out of the smartphone market “within the next couple of quarters.” This according to Chief Financial Officer Kevin Rauckman, who revealed that sales of its nuvifone handsets — co-produced with Asus — have missed the company’s expectations thus far, with $27 million in total sales for the second quarter.
Garmin faces a number of challenges in the smartphone market, not the least of which are Google, Nokia, and Microsoft, who also offer navigation products that are both free and available on multiple handsets. Garmin itself sells a software version of its system for both BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices, perhaps dissuading consumers from committing to a relatively new line of hardware. The fact that the first nuvifone met with rather lackluster reviews has probably not helped sales, either.
Garmin shares are down 21% in the last six months, to $28.02. At its peak in 2007, the stock was worth $125.68-per-share.