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Garmin Discontinued Status

Aug
26
2008

Update: shortly after “going to press”, Garmin released their nuMaps Guarantee program.

Garmin has begun discontinuing some of the older Nuvi models. In one way, it makes us shed a tear since much of the success of personal navigation devices is due to these models– but on the other hand the list of available models was causing consumers considerable pain and confusion. So what exactly does “discontinued” mean, and how does that impact your purchasing decision?

Strictly speaking, “discontinued” means that the device is no longer in production. No new devices will be built of models that are discontinued. However, according to my conversations with Garmin on the subject– even that isn’t a 100% certainty. They said it isn’t uncommon for one of their factories to call and say “hey, we’ve got enough parts kicking around to build XYZ model… want us to build a few?”

For you the consumer, the question becomes on of warranties, repairs, and updates— so let’s address these.

Warranty

So long as you purchase the device new from an authorized dealer, your one year warranty will still be in-tact. No issues there when it comes to a discontinued Nuvi.

Repairs

I’ve also been told that these devices will retain the same ability to be repaired as other Garmin devices. So availability of parts doesn’t appear to be an issue here either.

Maps, Updates

The more important questions surround maps, and software updates. As far as firmware updates go, I wouldn’t expect to see too many more updates for the discontinued devices. However at this point in their life-cycle they have probably found and squashed most every bug you might find. They won’t likely get any additional feature updates.

Map updates remain a bit of a bigger question mark. Garmin says that the discontinued devices will continue to have map updates made available to them, but what we don’t know is how long that will continue to be the case. Take for example some of the earliest StreetPilot devices (now just a couple of years old) which can no longer accept the latest map updates either due to space considerations or the new map format.

Another factor is that since the discontinued Garmin models are no longer in production, the ones you find on store shelves are less likely to come with a more recent map. Since Garmin does not guarantee the device will come with the latest map, and don’t guarantee a free update to the most current map at time of purchase (unlike the more recent TomTom models), you could very well find yourself shelling out some cash for a map update when you first get your device.

Update: shortly after “going to press”, Garmin released their nuMaps Guarantee program.

The Bottom Line

That right there is the deal killer for me… The number one complaint GPS users have about their devices is out of date maps. Generally you will be able to find a nearly equivalent model Nuvi that has not been discontinued, for less money than an older model + the new map update. Therefore, I’m generally going to stop discussing the older, discontinued models with consumers as they consider their choices. It isn’t that they are no longer fantastic devices…. but simplifying the product line of Nuvi models is a good thing (there are too many) and the newer products are much more likely to come with a newer map.

So we’ll say somewhat of a goodbye to the Nuvi 300 and 600 series… while I’m sure we will still be talking quite a bit about your accomplishments, enjoy your retirement!

7 Responses


  1. Yes, it is past due time to cull the models out. Trying to compare the many models still leaves one with a feeling that something is being overlooked with any selection that you might make. To me, less is more in selecting a brand of GPS car navigation. By that I mean clear the confusion and make it clear the features of one model over another AND how it compares with the competition.

    Steve Bukosky - August 26th, 2008
  2. Update: shortly after “going to press”, Garmin released their nuMaps Guarantee program.

    Tim - August 27th, 2008
  3. Hello. I had a Garmin 660 that I gave away as a gift. After less than a year the battery was agonizing and I was only able to operate the device on and outside power source (12V car outlet) if I was using it for any length of time. To my great surprise I discovered that he battery was not user replaceable. Major flaw and built in obsolescence. I shall very soon by buying a new GPS and it will NOT be a Garmin, because of the fiendish little technical detail probably recommended by the marketing department at Garmin in order to boost sales. Well in my case, strike out> I shall not buy another Garmin for that very reason. I would really appreciate a review of GPSs clearly announcing whcih brand and models have a user replaceable battery. Thanks.

    Lawrence - August 28th, 2008
  4. I’m not sure how the Discontinued Status impacts your 660. But you will probably be disappointed to hear that just about the only auto GPS with a replaceable battery is the Garmin Nuvi 800 series.

    Tim - August 29th, 2008
  5. Just got the nuvi 350 and it has 2GB of internal memory, not 700MB as it states above. Also to note, the 660 operates quicker on boot up and route calculation than the 350 (my friend and I tested this recently). The 660 probably has a faster processor than the 350, but we’re only talking a few seconds at most on simple routes. Both units came with 2009 maps and are fantastic performers. I hope this helps someone who is looking at either of these units.

    Ruben - September 28th, 2008
  6. There is approximately 700 MB of free space on the drive, that is likely what is being referred to.

    Tim - September 29th, 2008
  7. Map obsolescence is not limited to Garmin or Tom Tom. I own a Magellan purchased in 2007. It was the latest, greatest just introduced, blah blah blah. Today it is a legacy product which means no map updates. Since I’m a service tech and go to about 600 homes a year I’m just plain out of luck. I have to buy a new one or go back to reading street maps while I drive. I only got one map update during that time. Does anyone know of how many updates other companies provide before obsoleting their product? Or length between time of purchase and no further support?

    John Edwards - January 30th, 2010



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