Garmin-Asus Nuvifone Comes to Fruition, Taiwan Launch

We’re not really quite sure what differentiates the Nuvifone on the market today, with a Taiwan launch a few days ago and more Asian countries getting the Garmin-Asus love come this August. The device, a combination GPS navigator and smartphone, was announced a year and a half ago, which touted a brand new operating system, but then Garmin and OS went back to the drawing boards between January 2008 and now to bring a Linux-based G60 and a Windows Mobile M20 Nuvifone to market, essentially a Windows Mobile Professional device with GPS maps and a custom UI.

The M20, though, will launch with Windows Mobile 6.1, which will be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional later.

The main UI shows several main icons for calling, navigating, and searching. The Nuvifone’s main purpose is foremost a GPS navigator, second a phone, and third for other Windows Mobile apps and goodies.

Garmin-Asus is looking to differentiate the Nuvifone from other GPS-enabled smartphones, which most Windows Mobile phones on the market are, with location-based services (LBS). The chances of seeing the G60 Linux edition in North America is greater than the M20 Windows Mobile navigator as the former comes with quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band 3G connectivity, versus the latter’s tri-band and dual-band modes.

With such a long delay between announcement and launch, I can’t imagine anyone being excited about this venture except for Garmin, which has stated that it will not release an iPhone navigation mapping software due to the Nuvifone’s launch.

(via: Mobile Crunch)

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Chuong Nguyen