Garmin plans Android phone in 2009

Sat-nav stars still keen to get into handsets

Garmin is developing an Android based mobile phone to be released in 2009, despite the failure to launch its well-publicised Nuviphone project.

Garmin is best known for its range of sat-navs, but the parallels with mobile phones are easy to see.

Indeed, with the likes of Google's G1 Android making use of Google Maps and Streetview, it seems only a matter of time before mobile phones can be plugged into vehicles to act as fully fledged sat-navs.

Mindful of this, Garmin is actively looking at the mobile phone market and although the Nuviphone has yet to emerge, perhaps a move to the Android engine will galvanise matters.

Production to be outsourced

A report in DigiTimes quotes Garmin's Tony An as saying: "Garmin also plans to launch self-developed Android handsets in the second half of 2009, with production to be outsourced."

The story is hardly unexpected, coming two weeks after Garmin joined the open handset alliance that is behind Android, but competition in the mobile phone – and even the Android mobile phone – market is fierce.

Samsung is just one of the major manufacturers scheduled to release an Android powered phone in 2009, in what will be a fascinating year for the mobile market.


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.