Garmin and Asus may have decided to stop developing their co-branded nüvifone handsets, but that doesn’t mean the companies are completely parting ways: Garmin has announced that Garmin navigation and location-based services for Android will be pre-loaded on new models of Asus-branded phones. Although some reports are reporting the deal is exclusive to Asus, Garmin makes it clear they plan to market mobile navigation application through “certain consumer application stores”—it would be logical to assume that includes the Android Market. Of course, the Apple App Store is still the 800-pound gorilla of the mobile application world, and the idea of developing apps for the iOS ecosystem has undoubtedly crossed their minds.
Garmin and Asus say they will offer additional details of their product plans during third quarter earnings calls this week and next week. The language of Garmin’s statement doesn’t rule out an exclusive deal with Asus to pre-load Garmin navigation software on its devices, even if Garmin applications are also available through other channels.
Garmin has had trouble breaking into the mobile phone marketplace: its own Garminfone devices have failed to be hits in the mobile marketplace, and the six handsets Garmin and Asus co-developed also failed to gain significant traction with consumers. The Garmin-Asus phones are still on sale through retail channels in a number of countries, and the companies say they will continue to offer support and software updates for the devices.