The US satnav company Garmin has announced it is to move into the mobile phone market with a handset incorporating GPS, touchscreen and 3G/HSDPA connectivity.
The Garmin Nuvifone will also have full satnav capability and will be bundled with maps of North America and Europe. The Nuvifone will also have a combined hands free/vehicle mount so that it can be used in a car like a conventional satnav system.
Another smart feature is that the handset’s camera will automatically tag photos with the geographic location of where they were taken. These so-called ‘geotags’ can be shared with other people or uploaded to sites such as Google Maps and Flickr.
The Nuvifone also offers the full range of smartphone features including web browser, email, calendar and Google Local search. Like the iPhone the Nuvifone has no keypad – all the functions are accessed via the 3.5-inch touchscreen.
“The nuvifone is an all-in-one device offering unmatched integration of utility and function in a single mobile device,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and chief operating officer. “This is the breakthrough product that cell phone and GPS users around the world have been longing for — a single device that does it all.”
The handset will go on sale in the third quarter of 2008 and no price information has been released.