Garmin’s GPS touchscreen Nüvifone Gets RRP

Taking on the iPhone at a similar high end price point.

We’ve hadn’t heard much since the unveiling of Garmin’s sumptuous first mobile phone, but we’ve got one great big important update now… ”Price”.

Tech blogger Engadget has gotten word of a survey Garmin has been secretly conducting amongst the US populace and it is repeatedly asking participants:

“Now, how likely would you be to buy the Garmin nüvifone (for yourself or as a gift) if offered by AT&T for $499.99 with a two year contract? You would be required to have both a data plan that would include unlimited Internet browsing and unlimited Navigation for $19.99 per month and one of the standard voice rate plans for a monthly fee.”

The feedback must have been good too because literature is now starting to appear with those exact details on (see above). That said, I find it surprising Garmin got such a positive response since this parks the nüvifone right in iPhone territory and Garmin – with all the good will in the world – doesn’t have the same market cred or hype machine in place as Apple. Furthermore, given price has been the main obstacle to iPhone sales – so much so a new strategy of subsidizing the 3G model is being discussed – it seems odd for Garmin to go down the same route.

Of course with a planned Q3 release there’s still time for Garmin to change this (whatever approach Apple adopts with its 2nd 3G iPhone is likely to influence many) but with a 3.5in touchscreen LCD, full Sat Nav functionality, WiFi, HSDPA, scalable web browsing, audio and video playback and a 3MP camera under the hood it could turn out to be a hefty price worth paying.

Time will tell…


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