The New Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50 is an Android!

Yes, you read that title correctly, the new A50 from Garmin and Asus is going to be an Android based phone. It seems like Android is really catching on, from my time with it I like it quite a bit, but after using WinMo for so many years it’s still hard to change.. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks as they say right?! Anyway, the new A50 is a smartphone and GPS navigation unit all in one and will be available in Europe first half of 2010. The A50 features 3.5” HVGA capacitive touchscreen along with 4gig internal storage and expandable microSD slot and even an accelerometer so you can easily change between portrait and landscape modes.

Garmin-Asus, a co-branded alliance between Garmin® Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), and ASUSTeK® Computer Inc. (TAIEX: 2357), today announced the Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50, a touchscreen Android-powered smartphone with multiple location technologies and apps. The A50 benefits from the personalization and enhanced features offered by the Android platform, and also includes Garmin navigation with turn-by-turn, voice prompted directions for use in a car or while walking. Location features are designed into virtually every function including email, text messaging, and photos. The A50 will be on display at the Garmin-Asus booth (Hall 8, #8B127) at Mobile World Congress, February 15-18, 2010.

“The A50 integrates navigation and GPS functionality throughout the device, which gives customers the versatility and reliability they need as they navigate their day.”

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“The A50 brings premium navigation features to the Android operating system, offering users a seamless location based experience along with access to the wealth of applications that the platform affords,” said Benson Lin, vice president and general manager of ASUS’ personal mobile devices business unit, handheld business group.

“Location is relevant to everything you do,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and COO. “The A50 integrates navigation and GPS functionality throughout the device, which gives customers the versatility and reliability they need as they navigate their day.”

The elegant and thin A50 has a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display that incorporates a finger-friendly user interface. The QWERTY touchscreen keyboard makes it easy to send and receive messages, and predictive text helps customers type faster. It also comes with hardware features like 4GB internal storage, an expandable microSD card slot, and accelerometer so every screen can be viewed in portrait or landscape mode.

Access to thousands of applications

The A50 integrates Google™ mobile services with one-click access to Google Search™ by voice, Google Maps™, Gmail™, YouTube™, calendar, contacts and Android Market™, where users can find more than 20,000 applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their lifestyle.

Powerful enterprise email capability

The A50 includes on-device sync with Microsoft Exchange server, with the ability to wirelessly synchronize contacts, calendar and enterprise email. Account setup is quick and easy, and in a few simple steps users will have their contacts, calendar and email ready to go.

High-sensitivity GPS receivers with Garmin navigation

The A50 receives its location (latitude and longitude) information from multiple sources including satellite, network-based and terrestrial sources. These overlapping technologies ensure that A50 customers have the best location and navigation experience a smartphone can offer.

Garmin navigation is included and preloaded on the A50. Because maps are installed on the device, customers will not have to wait for third party maps to download from a server, nor will they lose their turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation if they are out of cell phone coverage. The A50 also has many of the same features as a high-end Garmin nüvi® navigation device such as lane assist with junction view that guides drivers to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit and realistically displays road signs. Ready for pedestrian or automotive navigation out-of-the-box, the A50 includes a custom Garmin car mount and vehicle power cable.

The A50 also supports cityXplorer™ maps so that customers can plan and use routes that include public transit options such as bus, tramway, metro and suburban rail systems. cityXplorer content is available as an optional download for select cities. Thanks to the A50’s e-compass, customers will know their heading even when standing still.

In addition to Android Market, the A50 has preloaded, apps through Garmin-Asus’ connected services, which includes real-time, location-relevant information like weather, traffic, fuel prices, safety cameras, flight status. Connected services information varies by country.

Customers also have access to Street View in Google Maps and 3D landmark images.

Surf the web

With a powerful, multi-touch capable WebKit browser, the A50 allows users to browse the web at quick speeds and view streaming content. In addition, it automatically identifies location information embedded within web pages allowing the user to quickly navigate to the locations published on the world-wide web.

Take quality photos

The A50 includes a three mega-pixel camera with auto-focus that automatically geotags images with an exact latitude and longitude reference of where the photo was taken. Customers may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the geo-tagged image to friends.

Availability

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50 is expected to be available in Europe in the first half of 2010. Specific availability and pricing details will be given in the future. Additional information about Garmin-Asus products is available at www.GarminAsus.com.

About Garmin-Asus

Garmin-Asus is a co-branded strategic alliance that enables Garmin Ltd. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. to combine their complementary resources to develop world class LBS-centric mobile phones.

About Garmin Ltd.

The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin Ltd. and its subsidiaries have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications since 1989 – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200.

About ASUS

ASUS is a leading company in the new digital era. With a global staff of more than ten thousand and a world-class R&D design team, the company’s revenue for 2008 was 8.1 billion U.S. dollars. ASUS ranks among the top 10 IT companies in BusinessWeek’s “InfoTech 100”, and has been on the listing for 11 consecutive years. ASUS was also selected by the Wall Street Journal Asia as No.1 in quality and service.

ASUS is a registered trademark of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Garmin and nüvi are registered trademarks, and nüvifone and cityXplorer are trademarks, of Garmin Ltd.

About Google

Android, Google, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Android Market are trademarks of Google, Inc.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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