Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nüvifone: Garmin's products are not just for navigation any more

I've been meaning to write for a while now about Garmin's new iPhone competitor, the nuvifone. Gizmodo reminded me about that today by posting the above Garmin marketing video.

The video tries to show how hip and cool is could be to combine navigation and communication in one device without the panache of the iPhone commercials. As concept ads go, it's really not bad. While they try to hit far too many points in a single video (tip to Garmin: next time try making a single point in each video. See the iPhone ads for examples), Garmin is actually emphasizing user benefits instead of just features in their marketing. Garmin gets it; consumers have to be excited about the device for it to succeed.

But I find myself agreeing with John Gruber who noted the sniff of vapor in Garmin's Web marketing materials. The screen shots in the nuviphone media gallery sport far more PhotoShop skill than anything real, since I find it unlikely the nuviphone is going to sport a 793x1400 pixel screen. And unlike the iPhone, no one has actually seen one of these devices in operation. I'm hoping some of my colleagues will see one at 3GSM in Barcelona next week, but I'm willing to bet Garmin will be showing mockups instead of operating phones behind glass as Apple did at its January 2007 launch.

But all that said, I have to agree with one of the commenters on Gizmodo: isn't it interesting that significant mobile device innovation is coming from manufacturers who aren't traditional cell phone makers?

No comments: