T-Mobile USA announced it will begin selling Garmin's first Android-powered smartphone--branded as the Garminfone--"later this spring." The carrier did not provide pricing details for the gadget.
The news is notable for T-Mobile as it solidifies the carrier's position as a leading supplier of Android smartphones. T-Mobile was the world's first carrier to introduce a smartphone, the HTC-built G1, running Google's platform for smartphones, and has since expanded its Android lineup to include devices from the likes of Motorola. T-Mobile also is the only carrier so far to provide a subsidized price for the Google-branded, HTC-built Nexus One, introduced late last year.
"The Garminfone brings together two increasingly popular devices in one state-of-the-art package, delivering a rich, unique experience that no other smartphone or standalone navigation device can offer," said George Harrison, vice president of marketing product innovation for T-Mobile USA, the nation's fourth-largest wireless operator. "
The action is perhaps more important for Garmin, which in partnership with computer maker Asus is hoping to parlay its successes on the personal navigation device front with an expansion into location-capable smartphones. So far, though, the company's activities have been bumpy; Garmin in February admitted "disappointment" in sales of its first smartphone, the nuvifone, which is selling through AT&T Mobility in the United States. Garmin-Asus debuted the Android-powered nuvifone A50 during this year's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.
- see these Garminfone pictures
- see this release
Garmin admits nuvifone a 'disappointment'
Garmin-Asus unwraps first Android phone ahead of MWC
AT&T launching Garmin's nuvifone Oct. 4