August 2, 2008
Garmin dropped some good news and some not so good news this week. The Good news was that their earnings are still up despite the poor economy, and lackluster sales on a whole range of things at the stores these days. The bad news is that lowered expectations for the year citing macroeconomic issues.
The big winners were in a few segments:
- Auto Revenue - up 24%
- Outdoor/Fitness Revenue up 54% on the back of a successful Forerunner 405 and Edge 605/705 launch
- North American Revenue up 27%
- European Revenue up 19%
- From CEO Min Kao:
"Despite the challenging macro economic conditions, Garmin experienced another quarter of growth in 2008 and continues to demonstrate our solid leadership position in the industry. Our strength in the automotive/mobile segment in the face of a slowing economy demonstrated that our products continue to be well-positioned to take advantage of the ongoing demand for portable navigation devices. The latest nüvi 2x5 products delivered during the second quarter provide yet more features for cost-conscious consumers including picture navigation and compatibility with MSN Direct's real time content service. We also delivered the high-end nüvi 800 series in the second quarter which offers industry-leading speech recognition in the personal navigation sector. Our nüvi product offerings continue to support our strategy of extensive market segmentation, drawing in customers with compelling, competitive features, and useful content integrated into easy-to-use products at many attractive price points. We believe this approach will continue to garner growing market share and drive strong results throughout the remainder of 2008. Although we continue to earn industry-leading market share, the sector is not growing as rapidly as earlier anticipated and consumers appear to be more cost-conscious than ever; therefore, we will be lowering our full year revenue growth expectations."
Full Press Release can be found here at the Garmin Site
July 30, 2008
Garmin announced today that they needed to lower their outlook for the rest of the year on sales and earnings, while also announcing that they are delaying their much touted Nuvifone. For me the Nuvifone represented their move into the connected device market; maybe they will still jump into that market with a Nuvi 900 series or something. They remain the only major manufacturer without an overt and major announcement on a connected GPS navigator.
The revenue outlook really killed them today as they announced an expected $3.9 billion in revenue, down from $4.5 billion that they previously talked about. Apparently, teh Nuvifone only accounted for about $100 million of that drop; the rest is just hard times for the economy slowing down the sales.
Their stock was down 22% today to $35.19, a long way off the 52-week high of $125.
July 29, 2008
Brilliant move ahead f the Olympics; Garmin just released their City Navigator NT- China as well as a special Chinese Olympics set of Custom POI's if you are going. Nice thing is that they already did some thinking for you and made the sports venues organized by city or by sport. Nice touch. Not sure that many people will driving over there for the Olympics, as the Chinese are taking cars off the roads like crazy trying to clean up the air ahead of the games. But with that said, why the heck not drop a special POI bundle on the market and announce your new Chinese maps ahead of the Olympics.
"This new suite of digital maps helps tourists locate stadiums, hotels, restaurants, and more - so they can spend their time being spectators instead of worrying about how to get there," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Presently, Garmin is the only satellite navigation manufacturer that is able to offer these highly-detailed maps."
Offering nearly seven million points of interest (POIs) and available on a convenient microSD/SD card, users simply insert the maps into virtually any current Garmin personal navigation device (PND). Road and POI names are presented in Pinyin, the most common Latin-alphabet phonetic spelling of Mandarin Chinese. These maps offer full coverage of China, including street level detail for more than 980 cities and the roads that connect them - just select a destination and your nüvi gives you turn-by-turn directions to that location.
More information on the City Navigator NT - China
and on the Olympics POI Set
July 28, 2008
Not only did all of the riders in this year's Tour de France on Team Garmin Chipotle get an Edge 705, but they used them to their advantage by specially programing them with key information. According to Bike Radar, the team pre-programed the units with key sprint locations, feed zones and King of the Mountain locations. Pretty cool stuff.
For more information on the Edge 705 - See my Full Review Garmin Edge 705
Check out the Product Page Edge 705
July 22, 2008
Garmin announced the Nuvi 500 and Nuvi 550 today, a combined use line of navigation devices that have a waterproof touchscreen and come loaded with street and Topo maps. The device will let you drive to your hiking spot, and at the top of the Main Menu screen touch on your new profile to flip over to a recreational use to go biking or geocaching.
I should have seen this coming on the heels of the Touchscreen Oregon handheld that was announced on July 10th, as they will share the same core technology of waterproof touchscreen. The idea of flipping profiles started with the Garmin Colorado line where you could have different settings according to your needs.
Loolking forward to seeing these soon.
Continue reading: "Nuvi 500/550 - Drive, Hike, Bike; Navigation on the Road & Trail"
Full press release follows.......
July 16, 2008
If you're a Team Garmin Tour de France fan and you don't want to be driving around a Felt Bike or Chipotle Burrito on yur GPS, maybe you can download the Team Garmin Chase Car and load it up on your unit.
It's pretty easy to install these icons on your Garmin GPS, just follow these easy instructions at the Garmin site.
Via Garmin Blogs
July 15, 2008
Sure it's marketing hyperbole, but if you are excited to learn more about the new touchscreen handheld from Garmin - the Garmin Oregon line, you will want to check out their Garmin Oregon Minisite (you'll need Flash).
I like the look at the Screens - very good insight into the unit and how things will look and function. All of the items are classic Garmin interface on there, just in the easy touchscreen format.
Go check out the Garmin Oregon Minisite
July 10, 2008
Garmin has officially announced the Garmin Oregon line of handheld receivers. The line features a touchscreen interface that should make huge strides in the way you interact with a handheld device. Hopefully it maintains the ruggedness; it does maintain the IPX7 waterproof standard rating. The sleek design is sure to raise some eyebrows; looks like a pretty impressive change to both hardware and software.
The entire line also gets HotFix - the ability to store information about satellite positions so that you get fast satellite fixes when you turn the unit on.
The Oregon 300/400 units will also include the wireless functionality that the Colorado series also shares. This allows you to swap routes and waypoints with other wireless units as well as collect data from Heart rate monitors and cadence sensors. When I reviewed the Colorado, I loved the wireless features, and was pretty happy to see the capability to finally come to handheld GPS units. Glad to see it continues in the plans for Garmin.
Continue reading: "Garmin Oregon Handheld - Touchscreen Handhelds - 200, 300, 400t, 400i, 400c"
Full Press Release follows.....
It's a mixed up world when Burritos fuel world class biking teams, but I'll take the winnings if I can win the drawing for a few choice prizes associated with the Tour de France appearance for Team Garmin Chipotle H3O.
The prizes are pretty sweet:
- Grand Prize - Team Garmin Felt Bike
- First Prize - Garmin Edge 705 with wireless speed/cadence and Heart Rate Monitor - five to be awarded.
- Second Prize - Team Garmin Biking Jersey with shorts, gloves and socks - five to be awarded.
- Third Prize - A Weekly Chipotle Burrito for a year - a Deck of 52 cards good for one each week for a year - Twenty to be awarded.
Sign up at the Team Garmin Website
July 8, 2008
For a lot of people mounting a GPS on a windshield is not legal (CA & MN), or just not desirable which leaves them either sticking an adhesive disk on the dashboard, or investigating the idea of an alternative mount like a friction or vent mount. I got in a friction mount and a vent mount with various connectors recently for a review of how they do on my dash and how they hold up. The company is Arkon, and they make a dizzying array of mount styles with some great capabilities.
This Arkon Weighted Friction Mount has a flat front that allows you to use your stock suction cup mount from makers like Garmin, TomTom and others that have some pretty small, minimalistic mounts. The mount has plenty of heft and sits firmly on the Dash through a normal week of driving. It's a pretty confidence inspiring mount and while it may not stand up on the NASCAR track pulling a few G's it performed well in my normal driving through traffic, around town and on the highway. Just in case you decide to take the fourth turn at Daytona, you'll keep things steady with the little safety loop on the back of the mount that allows you to put it around the adhesive hook (included) that you can fasten to the dash. Its base is about an inch wide, is pretty unobtrusive, and doesn't scream - "Steal the GPS under the Seat" like a regular adhesive disk might. The Hook is a bummer if you wanted a clean dash. To be clear in my time driving I didn't bother with the hook and the mount didn't move at all, even with a Dash Express suction cupped to it.
I was able to use factory mounts on the friction base as well as Arkon mounts made specifically for TomTom and for Garmin. The factory mounts were a bit slimmer and smaller, while the Arkon adapters had some more length to them and added the ability to adjust to different heights and lengths.
PDA/Phone Mount - I was also supplied with a mount for a PDA/Phone; which comes in customized styles. I had the generic, which fit my iPhone well, and when it comes time to navigate with the iPhone 3G, the Arkon mount should help.
The mount has configurable bottom "feet" to hold the bottom of the phone so you can slide them back and forth to get plugs into the bottom of the phone. The sidewalls slide in and out and have a soft rubberized interior to cushion your phone. A quick pinch of the sidewalls keeps the mount snug on the phone, while a touch of a button on the side of the mount allows the sidewalls to pop out and release your phone. Simple and fast.
Garmin Nuvi Vent Clip - The Garmin Nuvi Vent Clip is a very discreet option for mounting a GPS; allowing you to pop the GPS on and off while leaving the mount right there on the vent. Small and almost invisible, hardly any thief would guess that there is a GPS prize associated with your car. After enlisting friends to try the mount, on the four cars I fitted the mount to, we were pretty happy with the performance. The little clips that snap into the louvers and attach to the mount swivel to accept louvers that are either vertical or horizontal. I would recommend using both hands to remove the Nuvi from the mount instead of just indiscriminately ripping the thing off that may just pull a louver with it depending on the shape of your ride. Using both hands, made the removal quick and easy. Reception was not affected and having the unit closer to me made for easy programming. I also tried this out on the vent to the left of the steering wheel which makes for another very desirable mounting option for lefties.