The standalone GPS market isn’t nearly as hot as it has been in years past, so many people are moving toward “convergence” devices that can do GPS and more. Garmin is aggressively expanding its smartphone line with the new Garmin-Asus A10 in response to this new trend. This follows up on the nuvifone from AT&T and the Garminfone with T-Mobile. A good move on Garmin’s part, I’d say, since they can continue to sell hardware to the growing navigation-centric smartphone market.
With the newly announced Garmin-Asus A10, you get a large 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen display along with Google Android (no mention of which version) for its operating system. The webKit browser is there for your web surfing needs and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera will satisfy shutterbugs. The Walkman line from Sony Ericsson married MP3 players with cell phones and the iPhone is offering a better mobile gaming experience. What better way to bring great GPS navigation to the smartphone realm than to use the resources of a company like Garmin? In additiion to regular old maps, the Garmin-Asus A10 has voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, cityXplorer maps for public transportation options, and more. Look for the A10 to launch in Europe and Asia-Pacific around the middle of the year.