Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) plans to leap into the mobile phone market during the third quarter of 2008 with the expected release of the Nuvifone. This device is one of a kind because it offers a smartphone combined with turn by turn navigation. I strongly believe this phone will be a huge holiday hit come Christmas time.
While Garmin has remained silent on the price of this phone, they have offered some specifics regarding this product.
- Full GSM HSDPA Mobile Phone
- Turn by Turn Voice Prompted Navigation with Preloaded Maps
- Full Internet Web Surfing
- Built in Video Camera
- 100% Touch Screen - 3.5 inch
- Google Local Search
- MP3 and MPEG4/AAC video player
- Garmin Online Services - Real Time Traffic, Weather, Fuel Prices
- Nuvi-like Navigation on the road or Pedestrian Mode
- “Where am I?” feature lets users touch the screen at any time to display the exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.
The Nuvifone also helps drivers find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot by automatically marking the position in which it was last removed from the vehicle mount.
I think the coolest feature of the Nuvifone is the ablity to be talking to someone on the phone while driving and still get turn by turn directions all in one device. As soon as the user is finshied driving, he or she can then undock the phone from the vehicle mount and never miss talking moment!
Don't overlook the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) local search feature either. This is a first of its kind. Nuvifone users can search for locations like “movie theaters” and Google will sort the results based on the user’s current location and relevance. Information provided by Google includes a web-based rating so that users can select the most appropriate destination and route directly to it.
While Garmin's stock price has taken a huge hit this year, trading just below $45 today, I think investors are actually pricing in a failure of the Nuvifone. If this product can just take a small piece of the smart phone market, I think it will be a huge benefit for shares of this company for years to come.
Disclosure: Author is Long GRMN