GPS giant Garmin to launch first mobile phone

GPS solutions manufacturer Garmin announced the release of its first mobile phone, the nuvifone, a touchscreen device combining smartphone technology, mobile web browsing and personal navigation tools. According to Garmin, when a user turns on the nuvifone, the 3.5-inch touchscreen indicates three primary icons--"Call," "Search" and "View Map"--promising efficient access to the device's features. When the nuvifone is docked onto a vehicle mount, it automatically goes into GPS mode, activating the navigation menu and enabling hands-free calling--the handset arrives preloaded with maps of North America as well as Eastern and Western Europe, complete with turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions. The nuvifone is the first Garmin device to feature Google local search capability--in addition, it offers personal messaging applications, mobile entertainment features (including camera) and Garmin Online, which delivers real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock quotes, news, weather and sports updates.

Garmin said the nuvifone will hit retail in the third quarter of 2008. Pricing details and sales partners are still forthcoming. "The nuvifone is an all-in-one device offering unmatched integration of utility and function in a single mobile device," said Garmin president and COO Cliff Pemble in a prepared statement. "This is the breakthrough product that cell phone and GPS users around the world have been longing for--a single device that does it all."

For more on the nuvifone:
-read this release

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