There used to be a time when GPS apps were one of the most expensive and profitable applications on the smartphone marketplace. With the proliferation of Android devices that come with free GPS alternatives, that may no longer be the case. But that doesn’t mean the GPS software makers are out of business. The companies have still been adopting to the new market environment by making applications for these smartphone platforms.
Garmin is now revealed to be making new applications for the iOS and Blackberry platforms. The apps are expected to be offered as free downloads and these new PND applications is expected to be made available on the iPhone App Store and Blackberry App World shortly.
Meanwhile, Garmin has also inked an exclusive deal with Asus for the Android platform. The partnership will mean that Asus will hold rights to complete branding and distribution of Garmin’s PND downloads on the Android platform. Of course, this deal will not affect Garmin’s plans for the other smartphone platforms like the iOS and Blackberry OS.
When Garmin-Asus Garminfone was announced for T-Mobile in May this year, there were doubts whether the phone will be a success. This is because, the device was not really value for money since it offered pretty standard smartphone features along with Garmin’s GPS navigation functionalities on a handset that was already equipped with Android’s turn-by-turn GPS navigation system.
It now appears that the phone has not done well indeed. T-Mobile has now announced that the price of the Garminfone has now been slashed. The carrier now offers a subsidy of $270 besides another $50 for web-only discount which means you may now purchase the T-Mobile Garminfone at $129.99.
This GPS enabled Android smartphone will provide you with
- Voice-guided and on-screen directions
- Real-time traffic, weather and gas prices
- Thousands of Android apps
- Personal and work e-mail, IM, and text messaging
At $130, the device is quite a bargain and it will be interesting to see if the sales pick up from here. What do you think?
T-Mobile has opened up its page for the new Android powered Garmin GPSmartphone. The device is expected to go on sale from June of this year in the American market and will be the first handset that will integrate an Android powered smartphone and Garmin GPS device.
The device will come with 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 3 megapixel camera that is equipped with autofocus and digital zooming. It will also have a Garmin specific interface. The Garminfone will run on Android OS 1.6.
Price is just $199, but wonder if one needs a Garmin powered smartphone when Android includes a free turn-by-turn navigation system in its own kit. You may probably want to cross-check your coordinates once in a while, no?
One more nail lurking over the coffin for GPS navigation companies like TomTom. Rumors are doing the rounds that Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft’s soon to be launched mobile OS might come equipped with a free GPS navigation software that will make the likes of TomTom and Garmin redundant.
You might recall that Android already offers free turn-by-turn navigation on their platform and Nokia too has introduced the same with Ovi maps. With Microsoft too jumping ship, it might not be too late before Apple offers a similar software too. For the record, Cupertino acquired maps development company PlaceBase last year and there are speculations over introduction of GPS soon.
Do you think TomTom and the likes have a niche to cater to in this new world order? Let us know what you think.