March 20, 2006

New GPS: Garmin eTrex Venture Cx

garmin etrex venture cx

Garmin International Inc., today introduced the Garmin eTrex Venture Cx , an entry-level addition to Garmin's eTrex Personal Navigator product line. The eTrex Venture Cx is the least expensive eTrex handheld unit that combines expandable memory, color TFT display, USB interface, and advanced GPS auto-routing capabilities in a waterproof design. This expands on the "Cx" line that already includes other eTrex products like the Legend Cx and the Vista Cx. The major upgrade here is the color screen and the expandability of the micro-SD slot, which will allow you to carry a good amount of map data around with you.

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

March 15, 2006

Updated: Garmin vs. TomTom

It's obvious that Garmin and TomTom are tough competitors fighting for an increasing share of the marketplace in a very hot category. Their sales are up, and so are their profits. The last quarter of 2005 saw big increases in sales with the holiday shopping, and both companies registered nice growth. We also saw recently that Garmin is suing TomTom for patent infringement. See our article

Well, we thought that the folks over at the Motley Fool had a good article covering the GPS market status, but apparently they missed on the patent dispute.

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

March 8, 2006

Garmin StreetPilot C510, C530, & C550


Update: See our Review of the Garmin StreetPilot C550 - "GPS Review: Garmin Streetpilot C550 Review by GPS Lodge" - (We thought it was excellent).

Garmin International Inc., today announced that it has expanded its best-selling line of StreetPilot c-series automotive navigators with offerings that include exciting new features. The StreetPilot c500 series was formally unveiled at CeBIT, Europe’s premier electronics trade show in Hannover, Germany, from March 9-15, 2006. Based on Garmin’s phenomenally popular c300 series, the StreetPilot C510, StreetPilot C530, and StreetPilot C550 are destined to become the new benchmark in easy-to-use, affordable, attractive, and functional navigation.

With enhancements like Bluetooth Wireless Technology with a hands-free calling interface for over 200 applicable mobile phones, integrated traffic capabilities, a high bright display, and a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, the c500 series again solidifies Garmin as the world’s leading innovator of location technology. Wow, this is going right at the TomTom GO line with the handsfree calling!

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Garmin Mobile 20

Garmin International Inc. today announced Garmin Mobile™ 20 – an automotive navigation system that delivers Garmin’s voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions using Bluetooth wireless technology on Nokia, Windows Mobile and Treo 650 Smartphones. Garmin Mobile 20 provides both data connectivity as well as hands-free capability and is packaged with the GPS 20SM™, a new mobile phone mount with a built-in, highly sensitive GPS receiver and Bluetooth-enabled speaker and microphone. Garmin Mobile 20 will also be the first Garmin product to use the Garmin Online™ wireless data services that includes real-time traffic, gas prices, safety cameras, weather information, and other location relevant content. Garmin Mobile 20 was announced at CeBIT, Europe’s premier electronics trade show in Hannover, Germany, from March 9-15, 2006.

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New Garmin Nuvi 310 & Nuvi 360 with Bluetooth Hands free

UPDATE: The Garmin Nuvi 350 is being sold at unbelievably low prices right now as the Nuvi 360 is being launched. So, if you don't need the Bluetooth capabilities of the new Nuvi 360, check out the Garmin Nuvi 350 .

Garmin, today announced a new feature for its all-in-one Personal Travel Assistant. The nuvi 310 and Garmin Nuvi 360 will incorporate Bluetooth Wireless Technology, as well as a GPS navigator, MP3 player, audio book player, language translator, travel guide, currency converter, world travel clock, and much more. The nuvi 310 and 360 were announced at CeBIT, Europe’s premier electronics trade show in Hannover, Germany, from March 9-15, 2006. The nuvi's Bluetooth Wireless Technology capabilities and integrated microphone and speaker provide for hands-free mobile phone calls. This easy-to-use calling feature lets users dial phone numbers through nüvi’s touchscreen keypad. In addition, users may look-up and dial numbers from their personalized phone book or from the phone’s call history log that shows calls received, calls dialed and calls missed. If a user does not know the phone number of their destination, they can easily find and dial it from nuvi's points of interest database – such as hotels, restaurants, and gas stations and attractions.

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Garmin launches GPS Buddy Program for fleet Tracking

Garmin is pleased to announce a close partnership with GPS-Buddy, a technology company that provides logistical tracking and management solutions for businesses with fleet vehicles. This relationship lets corporations who use Garmin GPS units in their automotive fleets to track those vehicles in real time and communicate with mobile workers via the Garmin GPS unit.

“Thanks to the real-time information transmitted through the GPS-Buddy unit, fleet managers can know where their fleet is and communicate with the drivers 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week,” said Gary Kelley, vice president of marketing for Garmin International. “This information is especially helpful when unexpected delays occur and schedule changes must be made.”

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Garmin GPS in Smart Cars

Garmin today announced that smart, the iconic automotive brand of DaimlerChrysler, will begin offering the smart portable navigator – a Garmin GPS designed for the cockpit of smart’s fortwo and forfour models. The smart portable navigator is a derivative of Garmin’s newly announced StreetPilot c500 series. See related article

“smart cars and Garmin units are a great match because both companies strive to offer customers products with innovative designs, advanced technologies and powerful performance,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. “We are delighted to work with smart, and are certain that our in-car navigation system will make driving even more fun for smart owners.”

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February 28, 2006

Garmin Edge 205 and Garmin Edge 305 Now Available at Amazon

The long awaited Garmin Edge 205 and Garmin Edge 305's are now avilable at Amazon. These were announced (see article) LAST AUGUST, and we have been waiting a long time for these units. These are, in concept, an adaptation of the popular Forerunners to the cyclist's needs. With plenty of thought put into these, the Cyclist now has the ability to plot his or her routes, heart rate, cadence, altitude and distance all together in one place to understand their training history and needs. They aren't specifically designed for navigation, but instead designed as a training aid. There are four basic configurations:

Garmin Edge 205 - The Garmin Edge 205 is the entry level model that is a stand alone unit allowing you to track your route, as well as your speed, elevation, etc. All of this information can then be downloaded onto your PC for tracking and developing a training regimen. This information can also be uploaded to Garmin's website, or used with Google Earth.

Garmin Edge 305HR
- The Garmin Edge 305HR adds a heart monitor funciton to the set-up while offering all of the features that the Edge 205 offers. By strapping on the heart rate monitor strap to your chest, you can wirelessly transmit heart rate info to the device. You can now see how your heart rate factors into your training results.

Garmin Edge 305CAD - The Garmin Edge 305 CAD has a cadence device that bolts onto your bike and measures cadence as a data input into your training records. Again, it has all of the funcitons that the Edge 205 has, plus the cadence feature. It does not have the heart rate monitor.

Garmin Edge 305CAD/HR
- The Garmin Edge CAD/HR has both the cadence and Heart rate monitoring features, as well as the data collection capabilities as the Edge 205.

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February 25, 2006

Garmin has Big Earnings Increase – More New Models ahead

The last quarter has been good to GPS providers, with TomTom and the GPS chipset provider SiRF reporting big earnings increases. Garmin has reported some very nice earnings increases in their sales and profit. Total Sales were $319 million up 45% over year ago. This was promarily driven by the consumer segment sales growth of 50% to $260 million. Profits were up 82%.

Garmin has had a great run in 2005 with 55 new or upgraded GPS units introduced into the market. It is no surprise that they are growing quickly and topping out their manufacturing in Taiwan during the fourth quarter with round the clock shifts to meet demand. Things are going so well, they bought more manufacturing capacity in Taiwan during January.

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February 3, 2006

Garmin Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 Available at Amazon

garminforerunner305clse.jpgOne of the bigger launches this year will be the launch of the Garmin Forerunner 205 and Garmin Forerunner 305, as they bring a couple of great upgrades to the fitness GPS market. With the reconfiguration of the unit to make it more watch-like, and the inclusion of the SiRF star III highly sensitive GPS receiver chipset, the unit looks like it will be a winner (See our explanation on the SiRF star III chipset, and why it's important). The upgrade to the Forerunner 305 also includes a better fitting heart rate monitor which will be another welcome improvement in the product line. The inclusion of the heart rate monitor is the main difference between the Forerunner 205 vs. Forerunner 305.

The older generation Forerunner 201 and 301 have been perennial favorites in the market. I have a Forerunner 201 and I like it. I got it because I liked the GPS aspects of it, but both my wife and I like it for the instantaneous read on our performance while exercising.

Both the Garmin Forerunner 205 and the Garmin Forerunner 305 are available for pre-order from Amazon, with FREE SHIPPING, and will be available on February 13th. The Forerunner 305 is already one of the top GPS sellers at Amazon despite the fact it’s only available for pre-order.

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

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