updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed July 30, 2008
Garmin nuvifone 2009 Delay
Garmin's long-promised nuvifone won't arrive until 2009, the company said today. Announced in January, the GPS-based smartphone was originally planned for a summer launch but is now targeted for a launch sometime during the first half of 2009. The release is being held up by "carrier specific requirements" that will require changes to the handset, according to the company. Which carriers are involved is unknown, though its particular 3G support makes it a likely candidate for AT&T as well as a number of European providers.
The delay creates a significant setback for the nuvifone, which would have originally launched in the same general timeframe as the iPhone 3G but will now appear at least six months later. Apple's device also now has similar cellular Internet access features as well as the defining GPS receiver, although the current implementation is less advanced than what Garmin has promised, with an interface that would effectively replicate the company's stand-alone nuvi GPS units' turn-by-turn directions.
Garmin is also facing increased competition from the BlackBerry Bold and an increasing number of other smartphones that make GPS standard and can use it for non-mapping functions, such as geotagging photos or running location-based social networks.