Garmin, Asus nix handset deal, Nuvifone in flux

Garmin and AsusTek said they won't introduce new co-branded Nuvifones going forward, but will support handsets in the field.

Garmin and AsusTek said Tuesday that they won't introduce new co-branded Nuvifones going forward, but will support handsets in the field.

What this means for Garmin's Nuvifone remains to be seen, but Asus won't be making them, according to a statement. At the least, the Nuvifone line is being rethought and perhaps being turned into a software service. The two companies inked a deal in Feb. 2009 to feature co-branded phones.

Here's the deal that Garmin and Asus via an SEC filing:

In February 2009 Garmin and ASUSTek Computer announced a strategic alliance to leverage the companies’ navigation and mobile telephony expertise to design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones, to be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series.  Throughout the summer and fall of 2009, the nüvifone G60 and M20 models were made available in select countries in Asia, Europe and North America through retail channels and carriers.  The nüvifone G60 was first available in July 2009 in Taiwan.  The nüvifone M20 became available in August 2009 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.  The North America launch of the nüvifone G60 occurred in October 2009 when AT&T announced that it would offer the device to its customers in the United States.  This was followed by the first western European carrier launch of the nüvifone G60 with Sunrise in Switzerland.  Garmin also announced in 2009 that several other nüvifone models are under development for 2010, including devices with the Android operating system.

And now?

Asus will include Garmin preloaded GPS services in its phones. Garmin will expand its "mobile handset application development and plans to offer navigation and other applications through certain consumer application stores."

Further plans will come in the next two weeks as the two companies report earnings.

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