Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price Drop


It was only a few months ago that the Nuvi 660 crashed through the $700 barrier, and I am happy to see that it has broken through another milestone price, it's now on sale at Amazon for less than $600; $597.24 to be exact at this writing, with Free Shipping.

I still think the Nuvi 660 is the best all around automobile navigator that I have used, and am glad to see more people are going to get a chance to experience it at a new lower price. If you are unsure about the unit, you can read my review of the Nuvi 660.

Available at Amazon

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Garmin Announces Developer Toolkit for GPS

Garmin took a nice step up and released news that they are going to get cozy with website and other software developers by releasing and API library to allow developers to better "talk" to GPS units. So for instance, you used to have to download waypoints from to your computer and then upload them to the GPS. Now by clicking on the Garmin logoed button, the website will talked directly tot he GPS and send the coordinates of the next cache directly to the unit.

There are six current API's, one of which supports location based services, so it's no surprise that these GPS enablers were announced in coordination with the Where 2.0 conference that is happening in San Jose.

Press release, including details of the APIs after the jump...

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May 26, 2007

NASCAR Garmin Commercial

Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, Garmin has posted their lastest commercial which is just great. Very fun and very cool.

Garmin; Don't just get there. Arrive.

Via Garmin Blog

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May 24, 2007

Rumor: New Garmin eTrex Legend, Vista HCx


Some nice "Rumors" are coming out on Garmin and their plans for an updated eTrex line. Garmin recently updated their RINO 530 HCx with high sensitivity GPS chips and it makes sense to roll that innovation in to the rest of the line that has not already been upgraded (The 60 CSx already has high sensitivity receivers in them).

No real news on when this upgrade would be announced, but the flier says a Fall 2007 launch.

A lot of discussion is going on about the inclusion of a SiRF star III chipset in these, but Garmin's mode recently is to go with "high sensitivity" chipsets which may be sourced from other vendors. In my usage I have not found a noticeable difference in regular usage when the SiRF star III chipset was swapped out.

More news at GPSPassion and Groundspeak.

  • eTrex H - monochrome
  • eTrex Venture HC (24 MB internal non-expandable memory)
  • eTrex Legend HCx (+micro SD card slot)
  • etrex Vista HCx (micro SD + Barometer, compass)

    Via GPSTracklog

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  • May 17, 2007

    Garmin Launches GPS Academy


    Do you feel like you need to learn more about how a GPS works, or how to use their GPS units on the road. The animations and presentations are nice, and are obviously part of the Garmin marketing machine, but it certainly looks like it can help people get acquainted with what a GPS and how to use one on the road.

    See more at Garmin GPS Academy

    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Summer TV Commercial

    Garmin has posted their new summertime TV commercial featuring a towering Yao Ming. The commercial is well done and was being filmed in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl when Garmin featured their Maposaurus commercial. The summertime commercial below definitely hits on the main benefits of the widescreen Garmin Nuvi that is featured in the shot.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    May 11, 2007

    Garmin RINO 520HCx and RINO 530HCx


    Garmin introduced the Rino 520HCx and Rino 530HCx, the latest in Garmin's RINO line of two-way radios integrated with GPS technology. If you haven’t seen these RINO’s in action it’s pretty cool – not only are they a high caliber GPS, but they have built-in two way radio capability (FRS/GMRS) and the ability to see others in your party right on your screen if they are using a RINO too. Great for hunting and general outdoors work where you want to see where others are. The new units feature a high- sensitivity GPS receiver for faster acquisition, improved accuracy in challenging outdoor environments, and the addition of a microSD card slot for detailed mapping data. The RINO 530HCx is a very capable outdoors unit with a seven channel weather receiver that has weather alert capabilities as well as an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.

    Contrary to what you read elsewhere, the new RINO's do NOT use the SiRF star III chipset, but do have high sensitivity chipsets that will pull in satellite signals in tough conditions.

    More from the Press Release...

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    May 10, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 350 - Most Popular GPS


    In researching an article the other day on pricing, I noticed not only that the Garmin Nuvi 350 is the most popular GPS selling at Amazon, but also the most popular electronics device at Amazon. More popular right now than all the digital cameras, SD cards, flash drives and iPods. Check out their Popularity Rank for yourself (may change; updated hourly).

    Personally I think that it is the amazing price on the thing, dropping a fair amount below $400 for the first time recently. It's $374 at this writing.

    What's the next most popular GPS? The Garmin Forerunner 305 which with its $50 rebate, drops its price down to about $200.

  • Garmin Nuvi 350 at Amazon
  • Garmin Forerunner 305 at Amazon

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking
  • May 2, 2007

    Garmin Earnings - Sales up 53%, Net Earnings up 60%

    Garmin released strong earnings numbers today ahead of the market open, but then got its stock hammered as sales were below Wall Street's expectations. So, while they missed some sales expectations, things are still pretty darn good, as revenue was up 53% over year ago, with automotive pulling in the dough, with sales up 110% over year ago.

    Looking at the Business highlights, they indicate that they are well positioned after launching the new Nuvi 200 line, have new production capacity to produce up to 8 million units annually, are selling the Nuvi 600/650 widescreens, as well as the MSN Direct models, the SP 580 and the Nuvi 680.

    Garmin also reported the sale of 1.5 million units in the first quarter, and for those keeping track, that is a few more than TomTom reported (1.3 million units), although they are only making automotive (motorcycle) units.

    New Models
    Like we gleaned from the last earnings announcement, we expect new fitness models. "We look forward to new product introductions scheduled for later in the year, and will provide updated progress for the segment as the year progresses and we have better visibility." Hummm, can't wait. Sunlight is a wastin' let's get those new models out while the warmer weather is here.

    From the press release...

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 27, 2007

    Garmin vs TomTom Patent Battle Round 3

    It appears that the Wisconsin patent lawsuit chapter is closing for Garmin vs TomTom. Winner = No one. So the short version is this: Garmin sues TomTom for using Garmin's patents. TomTom goes and buys the rights to some US Patents and sues Garmin for infringing on those. Ultimately the judge just ruled that no one gets nothing..... Garmin was not infringing against TomTom's licensed patents, and now the judge just ruled that Garmin's lawsuit against TomTom can't go forward. Sounds like that's a dead end too.

    Next up? Texas. There's a whole new round going there, and Garmin is suing TomTom for patent infringement there too.

    Stay tuned, more to come on this one.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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