December 23, 2006

TomTom wins Round II versus Garmin; Well Not Really

Update: It appears that we didn't have the Garmin side of thing when we wrote this.....

Originally, it appeared that TomTom won round II in the Garmin vs. TomTom patent dispute, but it appears that this may be a draw. Garmin won round I over in Europe. But, like any fight, there are three rounds to this story, as there is another patent dispute coming up in a couple of months in Texas. So if you read Garmin's press release, they indicate that the judge did not support the charges that TomTom brought alleging that Garmin infringed on 3 patents that they licensed in the US. The judgement also does not support the charges that TomTom is infringing on Garmin patents.

The most recent suit was dismissed in a summary judgement, "The decision finds that all five Garmin patents asserted against TomTom in the lawsuit are either invalid or not infringed by TomTom's popular line of navigation products," said the judgement.

In a bit of an odd statement coming on the heels of their own wasteful court battle in Europe, TomTom Chief Executive officer Harold Goddijn said in a statement, "We are hopeful that Garmin will return to competing in the marketplace instead of wasting resources on litigation."

When you are talking billions of dollars in sales, and millions of dollars in profits, that's just how the game is played Harold, you know that.

Garmin's side: "We are pleased with Judge Crabb's rejection of TomTom's infringement claims against Garmin", said Andrew Etkind, Garmin's General Counsel. "Garmin will continue to take all necessary action against those who misappropriate the innovations developed by Garmin's engineers. While Garmin would prefer not to litigate, it will not stand idly by and allow others, like TomTom, to exploit Garmin's technology." I guess no comment on whether or not their patents are actually valid.... which is apparently up in the air. again, we'll see more in Round III.

Garmin's press release

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

December 15, 2006

Rocket Powered Sleigh Icon for Garmins - 'Tis the season

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If you have one of the newer Garmin units, like the entire Nuvi line, or C500 series, you can load icons onto the unit so that you can be a race car, or maybe even a red sleigh for the season. It's rocket powered, so I am sure it will look like you are even going faster across your 3-D map.

Enjoy.

Download the Sleigh

Via Garmin Blog

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

December 13, 2006

New GPS Features at CES 2007

Update: See all of the new GPS units from the CES 2007 show on our homepage.

After watching the GPS world for a while and seeing what's hot and changing in the world of GPS units, I wanted to lay out some predictions on what is on the way for new GPS products in the new year, and potentially as early as the CES in January 2007 taking place at Las Vegas.

In looking back at this past year, we saw a huge surge of GPS sales, especially in the holiday season that is establishing the GPS in more and more households as the GPS goes mainstream. We saw a lot of new announcements from the biggies, as well as the not so big names as they figure on capturing part of the 80+% growth in the market.

OK, below are 5 trends that I think we'll see emerging or continuing to emerge in 2007, starting with the CES show in January.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 3, 2006

Review: Garmin GPSMap 60CSx by GPS Lodge

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Ok, it's been a while since we got our hands on the Garmin GPSMap 60CSx, and it's about time we wrote up this review. The Garmin GPSMap 60Csx sits at the top of the Garmin handheld line with loads of features, capabilities and does a pretty good job of maintaining its position there offering a lot in a handheld GPS. The unit comes with a relatively large screen for a handheld that makes things easy to read on the map as well as the capability under the hood to make the thing a nearly bulletproof performer. The SiRF star III chipset is fed through the bulbous helix antenna for excellent reception in all kinds of situations, and the expandable micro-SD card storage system allows you to take a lot of maps and data with you on your trip. The unit ships with a 64MB card, but the cards are always coming down in price and it's easy to find a 1GB card for well under $50. I was able to load up the 60CSx with topo maps and use it for a couple of weeks outdoors and around town, and thoroughly enjoyed the unit. The GPSMap 60CSx is certainly a portable handheld device, but not exactly pocketable. Anyone not absolutely fixated on portability will enjoy the extra screen real estate and the luxury that the SiRF star III chipset can bring in terms of no-doubt satellite reception.

For more GPS Buying information see our Holiday GPS Buying Guide

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

December 1, 2006

Garmin Acquires Dynastream Innovations - $36 Million

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Garmin Ltd. announced that it has acquired Dynastream Innovations Inc. ("Dynastream") for approximately $36 million in cash. Dynastream will continue operations as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to Garmin Ltd. earnings in 2007.

Dynastream provides technology to create personal area networks, and is used in some of the Forerunner devices. Looks like Garmin thinks that this technology is so good they bought the company. I would imagine that this means they want the "ANT" technology as Dynastream calls it, as a core technology for the company, and that we'll see more units with the ANT technology in the future.

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

November 29, 2006

Garmin Nuvi 670/680

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Update: The Garmin Nuvi 670 and Nuvi 680 have been Officially Announced.
Check out the announcement for the Nuvi 680 - MSN connected GPS or the Nuvi 670 which comes pre-loaded with North American and European Maps.

UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

Well, well… if you wanted a nice rumor wrapped up in time for the holidays, here you go. Engadget is reporting about the Garmin Nuvi 670/680 that will add on Microsoft’s MSN Direct/SPOT network capabilities. This will sit atop the already excellent Nuvi 660 chassis - see my review of the Nuvi 660. The SPOT network broadcasts over an FM band and gives you weather, sports and stock updates for a subscription price. Expect an announcement at CES in January. I would imagine that the release date for the Nuvi 670 would be sometime in the first quarter of 2007, or soon thereafter, like in April.


Interesting add-on…. Hummm, connected GPS units, I like it keep it coming. Don't forget about the new Dash Espress receiver with two way cellular/WiFi connectivity built in that is coming in the new year.

More at Garmin and Amazon

Get a whole lot more information on the Garmin Nuvi 680.

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

November 27, 2006

Inexpensive GPS Buying Options

christmas_bow.jpg C310x for $200 or less. The other deals that I would recommend are simply low priced Garmin C-series products.

mioc310xsm.jpgMio C310x – Many people went out to the stores on Black Friday and bought this for $149, but don’t worry, you can still pick this up at Comp USA for $199 now. Even at $199, this is still a great deal. It’s got some issues, but most people are happy, or even thrilled with its performance. The interface is good, not great but good, and offers a lot of nice navigation features. The Issue: Maps. There is ONLY US maps on the device, no Canadian maps as previously mentioned or discussed. The maps are also in need of updating. This sits on both Mio and TeleAtlas’ shoulders,but there should be an update to the maps in the next 6-9 months. See my post on TeleAtlas Maps and why I think that things are set to improve. These can be serious issues if they bug you, move on, if you can put up with it, enjoy the bargain. See info on the Mio C310x.

GarminC320sm.jpgGarmin C320 + 1GB SD Card – This combination will cost around $300 and the device will be rock solid. The unit comes with North American (yes, Canada too), maps that you can download once onto the SD card and you now have a fully functional maps loaded GPS (Note: Get a 2GB card if you want both US and Canada on the device, as US will fit on 1GB card). The included NAVTEQ maps are more up to date than the TeleAtlas maps on the Mio. The interface is easier than the Mio, and I have no issues recommending this unit. Check out walmart.com and Amazon– Both are moving prices around a lot these days, so check both out.

garminC330sm.jpgGarmin StreetPilot C330 – If you don’t want to deal with transferring maps yourself, buy this. It's a bit over $300. It will navigate right out of the box, and has all of North America pre-loaded.


Skip the Garmin I-series – Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Garmin I-series is a good little navigator, but for a little bit more money, you can move up to the C-series and its touchscreen navigation on a 3.5 inch screen. The ability to use a touchscreen is a big difference that’s well worth the money.

For more GPS Buying information see our
Holiday GPS Buying Guide


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

November 24, 2006

The Garmin Store in Chicago

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We’ve heard from some readers who have visited the Garmin store in Chicago and said that the place is really nice. John S said that the store is like a boutique with counter after counter of GPS units on display and some really helpful staff. When he was there he said it was pretty active and was surprised to see so many people in there at the time. Who knew so many people wanted a GPS?!?! He also said that a lot of people were checking out the Garmin Nuvi 660 in its widescreen brilliance.

The Nuvi 660 is featured in the Garmin holiday ads this year (see the funnier one I call it Unibrow, and the other one I call Lost Again Guy). Anyway, you can check out my Review of the Nuvi 660 and FYI – I have found the best deal from a trusted source to be at GPSNow, for $749, while Amazon has been hovering around $820 $760.

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

November 13, 2006

Garmin Launches New Marine Units - GPSMAP 4008, 4012, 545, and 400 series

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Not exactly what I usually cover, but I thought I would put this up. Garmin has launched some pretty interesting marine units with some cool capabilities for the (above) average boater. Lots of technology coming into play here with 3-d mapping above and below the water line, satellite image capable, and XM weather mapping feeds. Some pretty interesting features here for the marine side, where things can cost a lot. Any hope of this making its way to the consumer portable navigation devices? Please? (Press Release Follows)

Garmin announced a new and completely redesigned line of chartplotters, sonar, and charting that offers powerful features, state-of-the-art satellite photo-generated cartography, and a sleek user interface and design. The products were introduced today at the 2006 Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 10, 2006

Garmin Store Opens Tomorrow

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Garmin has been counting down the days to the world's first and only Garmin Store set to open in Chicago in time for the busy holiday rush. 2nd_floor_outdoormarine.jpg

The grand opening is tomorrow and from the looks of things and reports out of the Garmin camp, they are sparing no expense (except maybe those construction pylons holding up the caution tape). Anyway, it should be interesting to see what's inside. The store will be a well designed, but sparse environment, not unlike an Apple store, where units are featured in elegance and the emphasis is on quality and style. If you stop by, let us know what you think, and pick up a limited edition T-shirt.

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

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