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Is the Nuvifone Still Relevant?

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Comments

  • Tim 1481 Points
    Gizmodo (which I've never been fond of, in contrast to many other "gadget" aggregate sites out there) said this about the Nuvifone.
    following notoriously lengthy delays, the first Nuvifone should have been euthanized, not put on AT&T shelves
    Ouch.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    That's really rude. Could it be that bad?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    At least the PCMag reviewer said "... the G60 is the best cell-phone-based GPS navigation device I've ever tested." The same reviewer also found the continuous talk time to be 5 hours 17 minutes. So two bright spots to go along with the bad, like lack of additional apps, no MMS, poor camera and no IM.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    That's really rude. Could it be that bad?
    No, probably not... That's Gizmodo for you. They are known most for being snarky.
  • David Pogue of the New York Times has reviewed the NuvuPhone

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/technology/personaltech/08pogue.html?_r=1

    He likes it as a GPS device but not as a Smartphone.

    "First of all, it’s a fantastic auto or pedestrian GPS unit. ... There’s a long list of other frustrations, all of which scream, “Garmin’s a GPS company, not a smartphone designer!” ... if you live in your car in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and GPS is the main thing you want from a phone — well, the Nuvifone is the best GPS phone there is. ... GPS+cellphone might well have become one of the classic gadget pairings — if it had had its debut in 1999. Today, in the face of competition from so many overachieving superphones, the Nuvifone winds up looking eccentrically out of touch."

    I won't replicate the article here, but it is worth a read.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Yep, the first nuviphone looks like it's destined to be a failure IMO. Released for Europe today, but no carrier agreements, so it's full price only there. Great navigator from many reports, a terrible smartphone compared to what's available today for half the price. Unless the upcoming Android version is a huge improvement, Garmin might want to give a little more thought to their future mobile plans. All in all, too little too late for the G60.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    At least the Android version should offer app expandability, hopefully providing options for third party browsers and email clients. Then if they can fix the touch screen issues and drop the price $100 - $200 then they might be able to compete.
  • mvl 191 Points
    If it had historical Navteq Traffic Patterns, I might have considered it.

    I'm an ideal customer for the Nuvifone - I'm a gps geek who only needs a simple basic phone. (eg: I'm more than happy with my moto razr2). A Nuvifone would mean one less thing to carry around in my pocket.

    There should be lots of others like me - a busy parent who wants the GPS to get them somewhere as quick as possible, and someone who doesn' t have time to waste on all the smartphone bells and whistle toys.

    Phone prices (after contract) often drop 20% a month. By year end it may be a realistic option for some.
  • dhn 336 Points
    Shows how observant I am, mvl.......when did you get your 'stripes' here?
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Well that was fast. The Nuvifone is now available for $99 at Amazon.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Almost makes it worth considering at that price. Still doesn't compare well to the current crop of smartphones tho. In fact, does it even qualify as one?
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I suppose the threshold for "smart" will have to change with time-- but I suspect if you offer email and a full (not a mobile or WAP) web browser then you can likely call yourself smart.

    In a strange way, I'd be the ideal candidate for their phone. I love navigation, I love having email and web "on the go", but use less than 300 minutes per month on the phone.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Let's see. . . Garmin's selling an entire phone/hardware/software on-board full-featured navigation solution for $99, including an active mount. You can't buy a premium nav app and active mount for the iPhone for anyway near that price. If the Android version of the nuviphone expected in the spring can be had for anywhere near the same price point, it makes Garmin's solution look like a huge bargain and viable option for those needing/wanting their phone to serve as their primary navigation device. With Android expected to be the primary smartphone platform within a year or two, the list of available apps should be long. Just my opinion of course. From the few user reviews (very few :roll: ) that I've found, the Garmin is appearing to be the best of the current phone-based navigation apps, but currently stuck in a outdated and slim-featured phone.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    How is the mount "active" when it doesn't come with a car charger? :)
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    OOPS! My bad. Originally I thought the mount was supposed to be an active/charging mount. I see now that it isn't. Another dumb cut-back move. Thanks for calling attention to it Tim.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    Thanks for calling attention to it Tim.
    I just couldn't resist... I has been too long since the last time I've had to correct you.

    I am looking forward to the Android version of the Nuvifone. Hopefully they will also address the hardware/touchscreen issues on that model. Then they will have a chance at selling some phones.
  • mvl 191 Points
    Well that was fast. The Nuvifone is now available for $99 at Amazon.
    Note: $99 with contract. I assume that means a 2 year extension, only available to existing customers if you haven't upgraded in 2 years.

    Usually you get about $200 off list price on phones when you extend a contract, so this is an opportunity cost of $299. About where I expected this phone to price.
    Shows how observant I am, mvl.......when did you get your 'stripes' here?
    I'm confused? What are you asking?
    I suppose the threshold for "smart" will have to change with time-- but I suspect if you offer email and a full (not a mobile or WAP) web browser then you can likely call yourself smart.
    AT&T has an official definition for being "smart", which then requires mandatory purchase of a smartphone data plan:

    http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/articles-resources/smartphone-data-plans.jsp

    Since the Nuvifone uses a custom OS that isn't on the list, it isn't "smart" by AT&T's definition and is therefore a cheaper phone to own on a monthly basis.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    MVL, do you see those three green stripes under your name in the left column? That means you're a "trusted" poster, one whose knowledge and advice is generally spot-on. Way to go buddy! :D
  • mvl 191 Points
    Since the Nuvifone uses a custom OS that isn't on the list, it isn't "smart" by AT&T's definition and is therefore a cheaper phone to own on a monthly basis.
    Sorry... I stand corrected. AT&T changed its smartphone definition (again).

    Nuvifone will require a smartphone plan to be purchased.

    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/?device=Nuvifone(TM)+G60&q_sku=sku4000279
  • PND4ME 0 Points
    I have NuviFone and iPhone 3GS, I like the iPhone 3GS since it has much better over all functionality.
    The NuviFone is a Nuvi on a smartphone that is not as smart as the iPhone.
    What can I say, I love Garmin products also, but they "Garmin" is very late to the party! This would of been a hit before the iPhone came out, but for now, I'm looking at the new 3.7" 5-megapixel camera and video capabilities and the Cloud server base navigation features.
    What's not to like, it's free and if it function as well as some of the iPhone app's I been testing, I'm a happy camper.

    It's to bad, Garmin drop the ball on this one.
    The search feature without the service plan is useless, so it is an expensive Nuvi without the service plan and with the service plan, it could be a $3,600 for two year cost to you.
  • PND4ME 0 Points
    MVL, do you see those three green stripes under your name in the left column? That means you're a "trusted" poster, one whose knowledge and advice is generally spot-on. Way to go buddy! :D
    Hey, how do I get some stripes from this forum, or is it a club that I must join. lol
  • mvl 191 Points
    Hey, how do I get some stripes from this forum, or is it a club that I must join. lol
    I never even knew what "stripes" where. I earned them somehow, per Gator it must have been via repeated helpful/trustworthy responses in my posts.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I forgot to mention the $50 year year membership fee.

    The bill's on the way MVL. :mrgreen:
  • I forgot to mention the $50 year year membership fee.

    The bill's on the way MVL. :mrgreen:
    Should be if someone post wrong information or reply with incorrect answers, they are charged $50 LOL...
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I never even knew what "stripes" where.
    image
  • Tim 1481 Points
    A sign? Wirefly is no giving away their Nuvifones, of course with contract. http://bit.ly/1TYUPv
  • Well that was fast. The Nuvifone is now available for $99 at Amazon.
    Sorry to bring back an older thread...

    Now its 1cent on contract or $219 without contract @ Amazon.com

    of course it still does not come with a belt clip or vehicle power cable, so you're onto Ebay to get stuff it should have in the box.

    @ $219 no contract I'm considering it as I can sell my Blackberry Bold for about $275.

    If I can find a way to flash the Asian model firmware over the AT&T firmware I'm in.

    It only requires a data plan if you want to use email or surf or use Google Local Search (from the Asian firmware).
  • Just for the record, I called Nuviphone as being DOA the moment it was first announced. :) :twisted:
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    I probably agreed with you a few months ago too. Now I'm not as sure. The new Android version, the A50, is getting a lot of good reviews. Actually appears to be pretty darn good according to those that have seen/used it. Of course that doesn't equate to market success, but it looks as tho Garmin/Asus put some real effort into it with good results. A WinMo7 version is also in the works for later this year.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    A good hands-on video:
  • I probably agreed with you a few months ago too. Now I'm not as sure. The new Android version, the A50, is getting a lot of good reviews. Actually appears to be pretty darn good according to those that have seen/used it. Of course that doesn't equate to market success, but it looks as tho Garmin/Asus put some real effort into it with good results. A WinMo7 version is also in the works for later this year.
    Ok, but honestly, they may as well just release their software for those platforms. Nuviphone was it's own OS and platform, which is why I consider it DOA.

    If Garmin releases an Android phone with GPS functions... its just another Android phone + Garmin software. Not really a true "Nuviphone" IMO.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    You might change your mind after watching the video. It's not your typical Android.
  • You might change your mind after watching the video. It's not your typical Android.
    Very neat. I love the fact the phone has car mounting built in from the ground up.

    Does it have real time traffic?
    Does it have Europe maps pre-loaded?

    Looks pretty slick I must say.

    If the phone is running on a non-proprietary OS I'm much happier with the concept.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Honestly, I'm not sure what the best approach is. TomTom's sold a total of about 180,000 copies of their iPhone app thru last month, meaning roughly $12 mil made it into TomTom's coffers since it's release. If Garmin can sell 180,000 nuviphones, at least that much should also make it back to Garmin I would think. According to online hardware cost estimates to build a smartphone, it can be done for less than $50.

    On your questions, the only one I'm certain about is that regional maps are preloaded.
  • Honestly, I'm not sure what the best approach is. TomTom's sold a total of about 180,000 copies of their iPhone app thru last month, meaning roughly $12 mil made it into TomTom's coffers since it's release. If Garmin can sell 180,000 nuviphones, at least that much should also make it back to Garmin I would think. According to online hardware cost estimates to build a smartphone, it can be done for less than $50.
    I think Garmin really missed the boat on the iPhone app front. I think there are MANY people who would have purchased any app from them based on their reputation alone.

    That being said, they have to know what makes the most business sense to them. For me, I love the iPhone platform. I honestly think the phone platform is mostly irrelevant (a commodity item like a PC)... the software environment is what is critical.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    What nuvi model does this most compare to do you think? Does it use the NuLink service?
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    LordHamster, here's the issue from a business standpoint: The app prices are only going down. Anyone trying to sell a $99 mobile nav app is going to have a really tough time. I really see sub-$20 as the target price point. How many apps sales and gross profit would TomTom have if they sold at $19 instead of $59? There's just a lot of competition, some of quite good, at that $19 and under price. But TomTom isn't showing any sign of reducing prices to generate volume, instead going by what the market will bear. $12 million so far for their iPhone app really isn't a whole lot of money and I'm guessing Garmin could see the limited profits they'd realize from selling software only. But only time will tell if selling a hardware/software solution is any better.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    TomTom's sold a total of about 180,000 copies of their iPhone app thru last month
    That was 180,000 copies in 2009 according to their annual report.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Caryrae, I don't know the source of the services. And being Android-based, it doesn't resemble any nuvi interface IMO. The actual navigation functions look like they share some similarities to Garmin pnd's, but I've only seen videos so just guessing.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    TomTom's sold a total of about 180,000 copies of their iPhone app thru last month

    That was 180,000 copies in 2009 according to their annual report.
    Oh. PocketLint published an interview with them a couple weeks ago where they stated 180,000. I thought that was recent.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    In the third quarter we launched a TomTom navigation solution for the Apple iPhone and 180,000 downloads were sold during the year.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Thanks. PockLint's March 2nd article was a bit behind the times then.

    "TomTom has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it had sold 180,000 apps since going on sale with that number continuing to grow at a "steady" rate."

    EDIT: It might be a difference in terminology perhaps? Calendar year vs. business year? Anyway, thanks for the mention.
  • LordHamster, here's the issue from a business standpoint: The app prices are only going down. Anyone trying to sell a $99 mobile nav app is going to have a really tough time. I really see sub-$20 as the target price point. How many apps sales and gross profit would TomTom have if they sold at $19 instead of $59? There's just a lot of competition, some of quite good, at that $19 and under price. But TomTom isn't showing any sign of reducing prices to generate volume, instead going by what the market will bear. $12 million so far for their iPhone app really isn't a whole lot of money and I'm guessing Garmin could see the limited profits they'd realize from selling software only. But only time will tell if selling a hardware/software solution is any better.
    Thats why I said Garmin missed the boat. They needed to be first to market to have any chance at making good money.

    Garmin already has a team of developers developing cellphone versions of Garmin's products. I'd say porting the software to iPhone wouldn't have been a bad idea. Even if the development cost $2million they'd still have a tidy $10mil (or $7 mil less apple's cut?) in their pockets with no associated hardware support costs.

    Not a huge market I'll agree, but it is low-hanging fruit.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    I'd say porting the software to iPhone wouldn't have been a bad idea.
    I wouldn't assume that they haven't already, at least internally. I think they are trying to see where they can take the Nuvifone first.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    TheStreet gives the T-Mobile GarminFone a big thumbs up calling it one of the better Android phones on the market.

    http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/video/10757526/garminfone-finally-gets-it-right.html#85880488001
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