Garmin leaks plan for Android phone

As part of a webcast reporting its third quarter earnings, Garmin released a presentation containing a reference to a new Android OS handset for 2010. While the webcast did not call attention to the new product, mobile news site GSMArena caught the purported slip-up and brought it forward.

Garmin's Nuvifone lineup already includes Windows Mobile and Linux-based units with the M20 and G60 recently released in a Garmin-Asus partnership in parts of the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Sales numbers for these products have not been made available, but the gadgets have so far failed to gain major attention. Because Garmin and TomTom stocks fell in response to the announcement that Android 2.0 OS would support free turn-by-turn navigation from Google Maps, Garmin's Android plan could indicate a strategic move that will play out in the months to come.

In a separate announcement, the company has officially announced a product that can transition between air and automotive use. Named the Aera series, four devices have been announced, each with a 4.3 inch touch screen and full support for both aerial terrain and standard road maps. The products differ in their support for extra features such as XM Radio and faster refresh times.

The company's stock has continued to struggle as Garmin projected its profit margins would slightly decline in this quarter due to product discounts and some investors' worry about the long term viability of standalone navigation units.

Special Thanks to RenaissanceMan for his contribution

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