In January of 2008, Garmin announced the Nuvifone. They were a bit light on details at the time (Who would offer it? How much would it cost?) but promised that it would be on the shelves by the third quarter of the same year.
Well, that quarter passed. Then the next one. Jump forward a few more, and we’re in the third quarter of the next year – but the phone still isn’t available. Well, not outside of Taiwan, at least. As of today, it has been 1 year, 6 months, and 6 days since Garmin announced their phone. During today’s conference call, Garmin announced that the nuvifone will be available stateside in the fourth quarter (though they still wont disclose which carriers are involved). Even if they get it out by the first day of Q4 (September 1st), that’s 580 days from announcement to launch. Does anyone care anymore?
To put things into perspective here, here are just a handful of things that have happened since the Nuvifone was announced:
- Apple announced and released the iPhone 3G. Then they developed, announced, and released the iPhone 3GS.
- Samsung has released the T119, Memoir, Trance, T349, T239, A657, A167, Propel Pro, Pixon, Magnet, Jack, Instinct S30, Impression, Exclaim, Alias 2, Solstice, Highlight, Gravity 2, and Comeback.
- Two CTIA conferences, Two Mobile World Congresses, Two E3s, and CES 2009.
- Competitor TeleNav has released software-based GPS solutions for the iPhone, Android OS, and Sidekick LX.
We’ve been saying all along: This is the wrong way for Garmin to be taking on the mobile market. The Nuvifone seemed slightly old hat when it was announced; a year and a half later, the entire mobile landscape has changed and shows no signs of settling any time soon. Just stop, Garmin. Don’t try again. Don’t bother with an Android handset, as rumored. Get out of hardware while you can.