August 23, 2007
STMicroelectronics announced it has launched volume production of its Teseo GPS engine designed for use in certain Garmin Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and handheld GPS receivers. Garmin has been looking to places other than SiRF to fulfill their GPS chipset needs for a while now, and while people may think that there is no replacement for the SiRF star III, these chipsets have to be "high sensitivity" to compete these days. So, we won't be taking a step back to the old days of losing a signal while a leaf blows by.
"We are proud to announce that our state-of-the-art GPS technology has been selected for Garmin's new range of portable and handheld devices," said Domenico Rossi, General Manager of ST's Car Radio and Multimedia Division. "ST is one of the few players in this market that can offer high-performance and cost-effective GPS solutions, based on robust silicon technology, experience in the automotive market, and know-how developed in collaboration with leading navigation manufacturers."
Continue reading: "Garmin to use New Chipset"
August 1, 2007
Garmin earnings blew Wall St away today, showing strength in their sales in North America and in Europe, as sales were up 72% and earnings were up 75%. The automotive segment revenue led the way with 99% revenue growth, while the marine segment came in second with "only" 59% growth. Amazing.
Executive overview from Dr. Min Kao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:
"Garmin experienced a very exciting second quarter. Our strong growth in the automotive/mobile segment demonstrated that our products continue to be well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for portable navigation devices. We are pleased that, according to independent market research, we have maintained a strong leadership position in North America with approximately fifty percent PND market share. The nüvi 200W and 250W products delivered during the second quarter will provide an attractive option for cost-conscious consumers who prefer a wide-screen display. Our popular nüvi and c-series product offerings 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 should drive strong results in the holiday season and push revenue growth beyond our earlier expectations.
More details below...
Continue reading: "Garmin Sales up 72%, Earnings up 75%"
July 24, 2007
Just in case you wanted to follow athletes via the web, Garmin has given you the ability to check in on Team Milram on the Tour de France, and the Premier English Soccer League team from Middlesbrough. This continues their outreach to specific communities in the sports world to display the capabilities of the wide array of GPS devices. This also follows their sponsorship of NASCAR driver, Jeff Green on the racing circuit in the US to get into the hearts and minds of middle America putting the automotive GPS front and center in one of America’s most popular sports.
As a bike rider, I am amazed at the abilities of Team Milram as they climb the Alps, maintaining the pace and heart rate that would pretty much knock me over dead. At Motionbased.com you are able to check out the tracks and associated data for the Edge 305 equipped Team Milram and see one of the most grueling races play out in all its beautiful data and charts.
Apparently the Middlesbrough Soccer team will be wearing Garmin Forerunners while training and working out on the practice field. No news yet if they will be wearing them during the games.
More on the purchase of the Middlesbrough Football Club of the English Premier League at Garmin Blog.
More on Team Milram at Motionbased where you can see the results of the Garmin Edge 305 equipped Tour de France team with all the heart rate information that will blow you away. Other news on the Tour de France and the Edge equipped Team Milram at Garmin Blog, or the Tour de France website.
Remember that Garmin has committed to coming out with new fitness products this year; can’t wait to see what they will be.
July 17, 2007
Looks like Garmin is setting up the groundwork for a more robust Euro distribution system, with a new letter of intent to buy a Spanish distribution company, Electrónica Trepat S.A. (“Electrónica Trepat”), the principal distributor of Garmin’s consumer products in Spain.
“The proposed acquisition of Electrónica Trepat is a further step in our ongoing strategy to strengthen Garmin’s presence in key European markets through vertical integration and to enhance our ability to support our key retailers and OEMs in these markets,” said Dr. Min Kao, chairman and CEO of Garmin Ltd.
Fernando Trepat, president of Electrónica Trepat said, "We are very pleased to be able to become fully integrated within Garmin and we look forward to continuing to expand Garmin’s sales in Spain."
June 15, 2007
You may have missed the recent RINO line upgrade announcement, but Garmin wants to tell you more about the new line of GPS handhelds that have built in radio capabilities. The units are pretty popular for outdoor pursuits involving several parties, including hiking, and hunting. The new RINO Mini-site is fairly bare bones as far as information goes, but does give a basic overview of the handhelds, and offers a nice mouse-over view of the main RINO screens. The site gives a good example of why the unit can be valuable when hunting with the recreation of a consumer testimonial.
An outtake loop is loaded up at YouTube and is seen below.
June 11, 2007
Things must be going very well for Garmin these days as they have announced that they are opening another plant in Taiwan. The third plant was disclosed at the annual shareholder meeting on Friday. The plant should cost around $90 million.
"We thought it was going to be a longer-term expansion plan, but in fact we're already in need of additional spaces, so we're just days away from closing our third factory," Kevin Rauckman, the CFO of Garmin said.
June 8, 2007
Garmin will be trying something new (actually rather old) on Tuesday’s Tonight Show according to the Wall St Journal. The live promotional spot will be an integrated skill/commercial thing that is reminiscent of those old endorsements of cigarettes and such on those old shows from the 1950’s.
Apparently just before the first ad break, the small skit will include a spot that has Jay’s announcer John Melendez don a labcoat with a Garmin symbol on it and talk about the “Directions Disorder” that affects men who won’t ask for directions. The skit will be followed by a Garmin commercial; hopefully the Yao Ming ad. The move is in response to those of us who skip ads with TiVo. The move of pairing product integration into the show with the ad immediately following the mention increases related recall by 40% - 50%. The skit/ad runs Tuesday night.
June 1, 2007
Update: The Nuvi 200W and Nuvi 250W have been officially announced!
So there is some news coming out of Europe, specifically GPSPassion that Garmin is announcing a Nuvi 200 series in a widescreen model. In talking with Garmin there is no official confirmation at this point.
Not a total surprise, as widescreens are popular and increasingly crawling down into the value end of the segment. With the TomTom ONE XL at $399, and the Mio C520 in the mid-$300's, it is a smart move to launch a widescreen for the masses. At this writing, the lowest priced widescreen out of the Garmin shop is the Nuvi 600, which is in the mid-$500's.
We'll wait and see...
So Garmin let the new line of eTrex high sensitivity handheld GPS units go officially following the slip of some promotional materials last week. Looks like they won't be available until third quarter. The units are offering the standard fare of excellent eTrex capabilities, now wrapped around the high sensitivity receivers that we've been hoping for since last summer when I thought that they should clean up the eTrex line and bring high sensitivity receivers to the line.
The new line looks like this:
eTrex H - $99 - monochrome, no mapping
Venture HC - $199 - mapping and color, 14 hr batter life
Summit HC - $249 - Has barometer and compass, 14 hr battery life
Legend HCx - $269 - add data card capability, 25 hr battery life
Vista HCx - $299 - adds barometer and electronic compass, 25 hr battery life
Press Release Follows
More at Garmin
Continue reading: "New Garmin eTrex "H" Line - Vista HCx, Legend HCx, Summit HC, Venture HC"
May 30, 2007
I have had a lot of readers write in about replacing their batteries on their Garmin Nuvis, including the 350, 360, 660, 680. I asked Garmin about this, and they came back indicating that while the battery on the Nuvi line is not consumer replaceable, it is serviceable by them. However, these batteries are expected to last up to 1,000 cycles, which could put you out several years before you encounter issues depending on usage. I have no doubt that they stand behind what they make, considering that they have been in the business a long time and are still servicing GPS units that are 10 years old. See if you can get other consumer electronics companies to service a 10 year old piece of equipment.