Nuviphone - Not yet new iPhone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Garmin announced its Nuviphone last week. The latest smartphone to be tagged as iPhone's direct competition has me thoroughly impressed, perhaps a tad more than the pioneering Apple product itself. The question however is in the execution, the single most important factor that will govern the phone's success.

I have always liked the idea of combining GPS and a mobile phone. You can read my earlier articles back in July last year on integration where I mention that GPS will be a staple in tomorrow's phones. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with mobile GPS, that was a mobile phone and PND simultaneously. It is hence heartening to note that the GPS leader has taken the step forward rather than wait for the handset vendors to eat into its market and kill it.

Apart from GPS and a HSDPA modem (3G data standard), the nuviphone is advertised to have WiFi, bluetooth, video camera, digital camera and mp3 playback facilities. The details of these features are hazy at the moment. It however seems that Garmin has attempted to market its latest offering as a step beyond the iPhone.

While the phone looks GREAT on paper, I must say that it now boils down to execution. The big question is whether it can match the user experience that is the key selling point of Apple’s offerings. The levels of integration being promised are certainly a novelty. But these features can fall flat if the device is difficult to use. Besides, the OS should be capable of handling various applications that can make use of its 3.5 inch screen display and its touch screen. To be fair to Garmin, the intuitive UI of its PND products is proof that the company has the potential to live up to the hype that this announcement has created.

I am also curious to know several other details which the coming days will tell us. Does the phone have a flash drive or the likes? How many songs can we store? What is the resolution of the camera? How well is the OS integrated with the web? How about its WiFi capabilities?

I will certainly watch out for more announcements about the nuviphone and gather more details on existing Garmin’s existing products to have a better idea of what to expect from the phone. For the moment, I am quite ecstatic about Garmin’s move. It bodes well for the company and the mobile industry. If the nuviphone does live up to its billing, it already has one iPhone proponent ready to make a switch!

Posted by Vijay Nagarajan at 5:00 PM  



Any thoughts on who may be providing the wireless chipsets for 802.11 and 3G?


May 16, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

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