Garmin and Asus today announced a "strategic alliance" to build and sell co-branded Nuvifones. The partnership won't result in a new company, but any smarthphone released by either company will be co-branded and carry the Nuvifone name, seemingly ending any speculation of an impending Eee Phone.
"Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a diverse mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone™ series," the two companies stated in a press release. "The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009."
The first smartphone the two new BFFs will release is the Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60 scheduled for release sometime before June. No word yet on price or carrier, but it appears most likely the G60 will find a home with AT&T and T-Mobile. After that, the two will follow it up with an unannounced model not expected to utilize Google's Android platform. Instead, the followup smartphone will be based on another "major platform," which the smart money puts on Windows Mobile.
Been admiring those sleek new netbooks, but you already sank your ready cash into a smartphone? If Microsoft's patent application is approved, you might already have half a netbook. As reported by The Register, Redmond has applied for a patent on a so-called "Smart Interface System for Mobile Communication Devices," which would transform your humble smartphone into the practical equivalent of a netbook. According to El Reg:
Although similar features have already been seen in existing cradles, Microsoft’s model would be equipped with a dedicated processor and memory. This would be used for storing and executing the on-board OS and an application for handling communication between the phone, peripherals and other connections, such as Wi-Fi.
Microsoft's patent application says that the device will use USB and "other suitable connector interfaces," and is designed to connect to TVs, monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, drives, and networks. There's a long way between a patent application and real hardware, but what would make you more (or less) likely to give a real-world version of this a careful look? Join us after the jump and sound off.
February's turning out to be a busy month for gadget gurus. There's been talk of Amazon unveiling the Kindle 2 on February 9, and one week later, Acer said it will debut its first handheld smartphone. It was less than a year ago that Acer acquired smartphone maker E-Ten.
Barring a typo that says "smartphones launch" on Acer's invitations to a press event next month during hte Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it appears as though the launch will consist of multiple handhelds, and not just a single model.
Not much else is known about Acer's upcoming smartphone(s), including price points or availability. However, Acer will have to contend with Asus, who recently said it plans to make a bigger push into the smartphone market in 2009, promising at least 10 new models, most of which will support 3G and sport a touchscreen. Dell is also expected to get in on the smartphone game at some point, but has remained vague on when that might be.
Patent #7,479,949 (better known as Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics) has been awarded to Apple at long last. And while this is mighty good for Apple, this brings a lot of potential trouble for other multitouch smartphones in the future.
The Palm Pre is one of the many devices that should be looking over its shoulder. Given that it supports swiping and pinching, much like that of the iPhone, it has plenty to worry about (namely, Apple’s legal department).
And, if the rumor is true about Tim Cook’s thirst for the blood of anyone that’s looking to rip off Apple’s intellectual property, then just about anyone that’s looking to swipe, pinch or squeeze their way to a new phone experience should be careful to tread lightly.
According to Shih, the Eee phone might “become an interactive control” for a wide array of Asus devices that will be part of Asustek’s vaguely described digital home. Shih envisions a digital home embellished with interactive mirrors. Let us hope there is more to the idea than his fecund imagination.
Palm is trying its best to revive its glory days of yore. To this end, the company is planning to launch the multitouch Palm Pre smartphone. It offered the first glimpse of the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone features an entirely new operating system called Web OS. It has a 3.1-inch, 480 by 320 pixel display that conceals a keyboard.
The Web OS has been designed to literally keep a low profile while a user is at work. For instance, new alerts don’t impede any ongoing activity. Furthermore, there is a separate gesture area below the screen for you to navigate between applications
It lists all your contact, including email and Facebook contacts, in a single list and, more importantly, ensures that there is no redundancy in the list – a person’s name is listed along with all his available contact details.
The phone offers all the generic connectivity features, including 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has in-built GPS as well. The phone will debut during the first half of 2009 on the Sprint Network. The exact release date and its price are still unknown.
Need a good reason to "go green" by recycling your old electronics? How about getting some green (money, that is) for your old desktop or laptop computers, digital cameras, monitors, PDAs, smartphones, inkjet or laser printers, table PCs, or workstations? HP has teamed up with Market Velocity, Inc. to offer the HP Consumer Buyback and Planet Partners Recycling Program. Whether you think you're sitting on a potential gold mine of old stuff or are looking for a painless way to get worthless digital junk out of your office, give it a try.
Asus is on target to ship between 300,000 and 400,000 handsets by the end of 2008, which isn't nearly as many as the company would have liked. Part of the lower than expected shipment numbers can be attributed to not having enough models to choose from. So far in 2008, Asus has launched just seven new smartphones, or only half as many as the company had hoped with its initial target of 13 to 15.
Going into 2009, Asus plans to make a bigger push into the smartphone market with at least 10 new models, almost all of which will support 3G and come with a touchscreen. Both the transition to 3G and developing handsets based on Google's Android platforms have prevented Asus from releasing as many models as it would have liked up to this point, but according to industry sources in Taiwan, Asus has strengthened its R&D to address both of these areas. If Asus meets its new goals for 2009, it could prove interesting as Asus and rival handset maker High Tech Computer (HTC) try to one-up each other with new devices.
At a series of press events over the past few days Adobe has unveiled a brand new version of flash aimed directly at smartphones. The new version of Flash is optimized to work with ARM processors (like the one used in the iPhone).
So long as your smartphone has a processor clock speed of at least 200MHz and 16MB of RAM, it should be able to run the new Flash. It’s also mentioned that a “completely capable browser” is required, but given the phones that it’s meant for, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Google’s G1 is expected to get the update soon, among others. Whether it’ll be simply downloaded by the phone itself or updated in-store is yet to be revealed.
While many other smartphone vendors are prominent when it comes to excitement about the possibility of Flash on their phones, Apple isn’t. Steve Jobs has mentioned that Flash “performs too slow to be useful” on the extremely popular iPhone. To many this seems like a match made in heaven, but Apple has politely snubbed that notion.
Sprint may not be impressed with Google's Android in its current form and be content to sit on the sidelines, but that isn't stopping Asus from getting in the game with an Android-powered handset of its own. Citing un-named "company sources," news outlet DigiTimes reports Asus will launch an Android-based Google phone sometime in the first half of 2009. It remains unclear what Asus' marketing strategy will be, but speculation suggests the company may initially release the new phone under its own brand name in Taiwan followed up with customized models in other markets later on.
Asus isn't new to the handset game and has already shipped 30,000 units in Taiwan so far this year. The company expects that number to reach 40,000 by the end of the year. Asus will ride those shipments into 2009 with a 3G model using Qualcomm's dual-core solutions planned for Q1.