So Asus is building the Garmin nüvifone, that in itself isn't such a surprise - but that their love ran so deep?
In a Taiwanese press event today the two companies announced they are now collaborating on co-branded nüvifones all of which will have a primary focus (orientation?!) on GPS. The two say they expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009 including a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model which will be announced at the Mobile World Congress this month.
"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," said Garmin CEO Min Kao. "We've been working with ASUS for over one year on the initial nüvifone 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."
Given the original nüvifone - now christened the nüvifone G60 - was originally announced more than one year ago this is good news. On the other hand Asus and Garmin gave no further hard facts other than to say the S60 should still appear in the first half of the year and that - rather worryingly - they had yet to fix on a specific operating system for the backbone.
Right, we're happy for your marriage/love-in news guys but the nüvifone is getting less exciting with every passing quarter so if you wouldn't mind hurrying it up!