, a co-branded alliance recently formed between Garmin Ltd.
, and ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
, announced the Garmin-Asus nuvifone M20
, an all-in-one phone, mobile web-browser and premium navigation system with a Windows Mobile operating system.
As the first Garmin-Asus nuvifone powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with enterprise email, the sleek and colorful nuvifone M20 is designed for on-the-go professionals who want a fashionable and functional smartphone to manage their busy work and personal lives. This powerful device combines a dual-band 3.5G/tri-band GSM phone with Wi-Fi connectivity, desktop-like Internet browser, push email, document viewing, multi-media capability, Bluetooth and Garmin sat nav.
The nuvifone M20's full QWERTY soft keyboard makes it easy to send and receive SMS, MMS and emails. The nuvifone M20 can also be synched with a computer so that contacts and emails are always available. HSDPA wireless connectivity and enterprise grade Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) ensure messages are sent and received quickly, including those with attachments.
Recognizing that location is relevant to every aspect of every day, the nuvifone M20 is designed with location based services (LBS) at its core and has the most advanced LBS experience of any Windows Mobile phone. Navigation functions are linked to frequently used applications such as calendar, contacts, email, internet applications and more, simplifying the nuvifone user's day as they travel from one location to another.
The nuvifone M20 supports download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and offers a desktop-style web browsing experience. Users can zoom and pan web pages with their finger as they view the information in either portrait or landscape orientation. In addition, they can easily navigate to an address on a web page with only a few taps of the screen.
The GPS features of the nuvifone M20 usher in a level of sophistication never seen before on a Windows Mobile smartphone. It has the navigation capability of a premium Garmin nuvi sat nav, and comes with preloaded maps and points of interest (POIs) -- hotels, restaurants, stores, fuel stations and more -- for North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or other regions. Selecting a destination is straightforward and requires limited input from the user.
For example, users can search for a destination by typing in the specific name or address of an establishment, search by category, or navigate to addresses in the nuvifone M20's contact database or on the web. The device then gives turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions and automatically recalculates if a turn is missed along the way. In addition, the nuvifone includes quick access to online points of interest through internet enabled local search. The nuvifone harnesses the power of the worldwide web and information about local merchants and attractions is continually updated.
The nuvifone M20 takes GPS navigation one step further via Connected Services, a suite of online applications and data from Garmin-Asus that adds location intelligence to navigation, phone and browser functions. The expandable list of applications includes content like real-time traffic information, White Pages, weather, flight status, local events, and movie times.
The nuvifone product line also includes Ciao!, a ground-breaking LBS application that helps users stay up to date on their friends' whereabouts and status by linking numerous location-centric social networks. Through Ciao!, nuvifone users will see their friends' location on a map and then be able to navigate to that location with ease. Nuvifone users can also choose to have the nuvifone automatically update their social network location information.
The nuvifone M20 has exceptional entertainment capabilities with the combination of a 2.8" TFT touch lens display, built-in microphone and speakers, built-in 4Gb/8Gb My Storage, and ActiveSync for Outlook, Microsoft Office, and multi-media synchronization. The VGA (640x480) display brings action to life when watching video or looking at photographs. The three megapixel camera automatically geotags images with the exact latitude and longitudinal coordinates. Users can then save the image on their phone, email it to a friend, or navigate to where the image was taken.
Garmin and ASUSTeK Computer announced their alliance during a press conference in Taiwan on February 4, proclaiming that it will leverage the companies' navigation and mobile telephony expertise to design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones.
"We believe that converged devices are an emerging opportunity," commented Dr. Min Kao, chairman and CEO of Garmin Ltd. "This alliance is advantageous to both companies because it allows us to combine our resources and establish a strong foundation from which we will innovate and introduce the world to the benefits of LBS-centric mobile phones. We've been working with ASUS for over one year on the initial nuvifone that was announced in 2008 on the basis of an ODM relationship. Learning from this experience, we concluded that by leveraging and combining our respective industry-leading areas of expertise at a higher level, we will be able not only to significantly expand our product line, but also to shorten our product development time. We believe that through this strategic alliance we are uniquely positioned to deliver the world's best integrated and most compelling GPS-enabled mobile devices."