Garmin-Asus representatives have quietly confirmed to Reuters plans to end the joint venture started in 2009 earlier today. Reasons cited for ending the venture include the poorer than expected performance of its navigation-oriented smart device lineup which is encapsulated by the commercial failure of the first device in the venture, the G60.
The G60 was announced in February 2008 to great fanfare under Garmin branding, months before the release of the iPhone 3G and being beset by delay after continual delay, with media exposure limited to representative demonstrations at select tradeshows and no way for press to test hardware until its eventual release in late 2009, nearly 18 months after first announcement and the joint venture announcement in February.
The extended lead time afforded by the continual delays did little to improve the device, as many panned its poor performance as an overall phone, as a smart device with navigation capability and its high price once launched via AT&T in October 2009, ironically superseded by two generations of the iPhone which it sought to compete against.
The latest effort by the company came earlier this year with the US release of the Garminfone, exclusively developed for and sold through T-Mobile USA. Garmin-Asus had by this time abandoned the custom Linux platform of the G60 and Windows Mobile of the M10 from its previously announced device lineup, but still relied on its user interface overlay taken from its navigation devices and overlaid it on top of Android, with no real change in sales volume due to its initially high cost. More specific details on the termination of the venture will be given on Tuesday.