Parks Associates Blog

Friday, February 06, 2009

Asus and GARMIN Joined Hands on Smartphone Design

Two well-known Taiwan-based IT companies now collaborate to jump into a new market that already has too many power players. Asus Computer and GARMIN announced yesterday that they will co-develop, co-brand and co-market new smartphones under the name GARMIN-Asus. Their first smartphone is apparently the long-delayed Nuvifone that GARMIN has been trying to launch since 2Q08. Compared with GARMIN, Asus has a better track record. The company had its first PDA in 2001 and introduced its first handset in 2004. Even though its efforts on the handset market couldn’t be described as a success, it has channel relationships with more than 20 carriers, mainly in developing countries in Eastern Europe. This relationship does help the two-parties to share the cost and risk of developing and launching smartphones, as this market has become extremely competitive lately. Despite the combined expertise, GARMIN-Asus still has the formidable job to establish its credentials in the mobile market. I will be very interested in the alliance’s initial target market. Will it go after Asus’ handset channel markets first, or will it try to market the Nuvifone in NA and Western Europe? The alliance will announce the Nuvifone at the Mobile World Congress next week. Hopefully it will address my questions posted here.

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