Garmin: Nuvifone's North American launch still on hold

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Garmin said that its long-delayed nuvifone will go one sale in Asia in the next month, but that the phone's North America and European launch is still on hold. Garmin COO Cliff Pemble made the announcement at a shareholder meeting in suburban Kansas City Friday.

"We believe we're getting very close," Pemble said at the meeting, according to the Associated Press. The company had two phone designs on display at the meeting. The nuvifone is supposed offer various location-based features.

The nuvifone was originally announced in January 2008, but the phone's launch has been delayed numerous times. The device received FCC approval in December, but there has been no word on whether it would be paired with a specific U.S. carrier.

"We haven't, unfortunately, performed the way we hoped to on releasing the product," Pemble said. He also noted that Garmin had planned to release the phone without a carrier partner, but has since decided against that. While a number of handset makers--including Nokia and Sony Ericsson--have taken the direct-to-consumer route, such efforts lack the support of lower prices via carrier subsidies.

Pemble did not say which carriers Garmin had approached for a North American launch and declined to comment on a price for the phone in Asia. Garmin still expects to release a North American version in the second half of this year.

For more:
- see this AP article

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