updated 06:25 pm EDT, Thu August 5, 2010
Garmin makes just 27m in phone revenue
Garmin when discussing its spring results late last evening acknowledged that its smartphone business was struggling. The company made just $27 million of total revenue worldwide from the Garminfone and A10. The results were "below our plan" at Garmin and had spurred the GPS company to talk to carriers about "appropriate positioning" of its phones.
Sales of the Garminfone at T-Mobile have been emblematic of the company's troubles. ASUS has insisted that sales were on par, but T-Mobile has been quick to implement price cuts, first dropping it to $130 from $200 after just a few weeks and just last week slashing the price again to $100. Cuts occur frequently in the cellphone industry, but drops so soon after launch are usually signs of low sales.
The Garminfone was, along with the original nuvifone, an attempt to corner the smartphone market by offering the same GPS experience as a true GPS device like the nuvi. The nuvifone was pitched as an iPhone rival when unveiled in 2008, but repeated delays pushed it back until well into 2009, long after iPhones had not only received GPS but support for the same quality of turn-by-turn navigation Garmin wanted to offer. It has likewise struggled just among Android devices as the Garminfone both has weaker hardware and Android 1.6 where its competitors now use fast processors and Android 2.1 or later.
The company lately has tried to steer customers away from phone GPS with worries of expensive data roaming fees.