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Nuvifone has Landed!

Oct
7
2009

Announced about 18 months ago and originally scheduled for release one year ago, the highly anticipated Nuvifone has finally landed. So far people who have been able to get their hands on one (I haven’t been able to get one) haven’t had too many positive things to say. I’m not sure I’d write off the Nuvifone yet, however.

This was from PC Mag:

Unfortunately, Garmin spent almost two years bringing this phone to market, and it feels like a 2007-era device.[…] It’s like Garmin gave up halfway through the development cycle and released what it had.

And then there was this from Gizmodo, which by definition I wouldn’t put much stock into.

following notoriously lengthy delays, the first Nuvifone should have been euthanized, not put on AT&T shelves

I’m not totally surprised the device is getting lackluster acclaim. New devices will always come into the market as an underdog and the Nuvifone also was brought to market with specs that would have been mediocre even if it was delivered on time– let alone one year after initial projections.

The biggest fundamental change in the mobile phone market over the past few years is that phones have gone from being a single trick pony appliance to a full fledged platform. Unfortunately, the Nuvifone is more “dual appliance” than platform.

That could change however if Garmin can get some of their future Nuvifone models out the door quickly…. Their models based on the Android platform are still coming (we think anyway) and those could make the device much more attractive in today’s smartphone market.

Simply adding kick-ass navigation to a phone isn’t going to be enough in today’s market. And when you can pickup an iPhone for $100, the $300 price tag of the Nuvifone is hard to swallow. Users want a platform they can add their own apps to, powerful communication and fun social media tools, etc. The current Nuvifone doesn’t really do that… But an Android powered Nuvifone could turn quite a few more heads.

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