Garmin Announces GPS-Ready Handset

Garmin Ltd., the leading maker of satellite-powered navigational devices, is getting into the wireless phone business with the launch of the nüvifone, a handset that incorporates GPS.

“This is the breakthrough product that cellphone and GPS users around the world have been longing for – a single device that does it all,” said Cliff Pemble, the company’s president and COO. “We believe nüvifone will change the way people view converged devices in future.”

The all-touchscreen device is claimed to be the first of its kind to integrate premium 3.5G mobile phone capability with an Internet browser, data connectivity, personal messaging, and personal navigation functions in one device.

Personal messaging functions include email, text, and instant messaging. Also available is access to Garmin Online, which offers constantly-updating information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, news reports, and weather forecasts.

The nüvifone is Garmin’s first device to include Google local search capability, which harnesses the vast point of interest information available from the Internet.

The built-in camera will allow individuals to take a picture that will automatically be tagged with the exact latitude and longitude of where the image was taken. The device also provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available via Google’s Panoramio picture sharing site.

Garmin anticipates that the nüvifone will be available in the third quarter of 2008. Specific details about pricing and sales partners haven’t been announced yet. For more information, please visit the official website.

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