VZ Navigator’s Open Letter to Garmin’s Nuvifone

vzLast night GPS manufacturer Garmin announced its entrance into the mobile phone market with the nuvifone, an iPhone look-alike that combines a phone with a personal navigator. The company will manufacture its own cellular phone, however no word yet on what carrier will carry the device. How do the current GPS cellular applications, which already have a home on cell phones, feel about Garmin’s announcement? We decided to hypothesize. The following is a fictional letter from Verizon’s VZ Navigator to Garmin’s nuvifone. Dear Garmin nuvifone, Welcome to the cellular GPS market. There is no doubt that you have high hopes for yourself. According to your press release you are a “work of art in features, design and functionality” and “destined to transform how individuals connect, communicate and navigate their life.” Talk about modesty! My question: what prompts a GPS company to manufacturer a phone? Your Garmin Mobile application, albeit not as stellar as mine, has allowed you to take advantage of current cellular hardware and also gives you leverage on different US carriers. My guess is that you aren’t fans of articles like this, which says that my product is superior. Or maybe GPS mobile applications are just doing it a bit better than after market units. Why not just write a application for the iPhone? You know the SDK is on its way. So what will your phone do that my application doesn’t already let people do on their current phones? Turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions. We got that in the bag. Local search. Big deal. I am interested in your touch screen. But I do run on the Voyager. I have to admit the built in camera with geotagging functionality is something completely new. I am having my developers work on that ASAP. Either way, I think we are both fearful of the Dash Navigation monster hiding under our beds and the more players molding cellular network connectivity with GPS. When all is said and done, you have entered uncharted territory and we commend you on that. The nuvifone better be one hell of a multitasker; that’s all I’m going to say at this point. I wish you luck in finding a carrier and getting a price tag that people are willing to consider. See you on the road. All the best, VZ Navigator

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