Asustek has reportedly confirmed to Reuters that it will let its smartphone partnership with Garmin expire, leaving the five-or-so jointly-produced nuvifone models as the only testaments to this brief relationship. According to Reuters, neither Asus — which will apparently give more details tomorrow — nor Garmin was seeing significant sales volume from the deal, possibly due to the poor reviews which have plagued the devices; most critics found that while the units performed well as navigation devices, they were not up to par in other categories.
The breakup will leave Garmin free to pursue software-based alternatives for its services, meaning that it will be able to sell navigation apps in the App Store, Android Market, and Windows Marketplace, for instance. It has been clear since an interview with Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman last month that Garmin was leaning towards an exit from the industry, in which he stated that sales continued to miss expectations.
Asus, which is already rumored to be working on a Windows Phone 7 handset, may decide to cash in on its popular line of eeePC netbook and develop an inexpensive smartphone with the branding.