I tend to use my smartphone for navigation these days more than I use my standalone Garmin GPS device. Recognizing this trend, Garmin released the Garminfone and Nuvifone. Unfortunately, they haven’t been nearly as successful as the GPS experts had hoped.
It was a good idea adopting the Google Android platform for their navigation-centric smartphones, but the sales push really wasn’t there. As such, the mobile division hasn’t performed quite as well as they had expected. In the second quarter, the smartphone product category “contributed $27M in revenue.” That’s “below our plan.”
The Garmin Android phones offer solid hardware, thanks to the partnership with Asus and the inclusion of on-board maps (so no need for a constant data connection), but it’s still lacking in other categories where the more popular smartphones have been shining.
What advice would you give to the folks at Garmin to boost their smartphone sales? Is the focus on navigation an advantage or a hindrance?