updated 01:50 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Garmin-ASUS teamwork unlikely to live past January
Garmin and ASUS aren't likely to keep up their partnership past the start of the year, observers noted on Friday. Taiwan's Economic Daily News understood that the alliance is due to end in January and will likely see both companies split rather than renew their plans. Garmin had already hinted that the partnership was in doubt if poor sales didn't turn around.
The two as of September had made just $27 million in revenue from their Android and Windows Mobile models since shipping their first phones. Apple by contrast made over $8.8 billion on the iPhone just this past summer.
Both companies originally united to work on devices starting from nuvifone, which was initially a solo project. Garmin had originally set out to beat the iPhone by making a GPS-focused device that Apple didn't have at the time. Multiple delays wiped out the nuvifone's advantages, and it eventually shipped to AT&T in late 2009 to mediocre sales. T-Mobile was forced to cut the Android-based Garminfone's price after it sold poorly in stores.
Garmin may come back with a Windows Phone 7 model early next year along with Android models. ASUS has pledged to stay in the market and had provided a prototype Windows Phone 7 device at the start of the year, but it may branch out to try Android on its own. Previous ASUS phones and PDAs had been almost exclusively Windows Mobile hardware.