Much like Sierra Wireless, Garmin-Asus hoped to parlay its expertise in one area (GPS, for Garmin) into a bigger play for the smartphone market. The result was a series of Android smartphones that offered mapping services and driving directions powered by Garmin's brand and services.
And the effort did manage to squeeze out a few successes. In June 2010, T-Mobile USA began selling Garmin's first Android-powered smartphone, branded as the Garminfone. The smartphone sold for $199.99 after a $50 rebate and with a two-year service contract. However, by early July, the carrier cut the price down to $129. AT&T Mobility also subsequently began offering a Garmin phone.
But Garmin products were rapidly overtaken by events. Google added free driving directions to its Android platform, negating the key selling point pushed by Garmin-Asus. And, perhaps more importantly, Garmin and Asus discovered they didn't have the stomach for the financial investment needed for a long-term smartphone play: In September 2010, Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman said the company would consider over the next few quarters whether it wanted to stay in the mobile phone business. He said the company's smartphone sales had so far failed to meet expectations; the company had smartphone sales of $27 million in the second quarter.
By the end of 2010 the writing was on the wall, and Asus in October confirmed the companies would quit their smartphone adventure altogether.