Garmin-Asus go Android with their smartphones next year

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garminasus.jpgIt’s always struck me as a strange marriage but the satnav/netbook team of Garmin-Asus announced today that their first Android-based mobile phone will be in our hands by the end of Q1 next year.

Their announcement at Computex, Taipei, might be lacking a little thunder after Acer pre-trumped them in both timescale and device but it’s another interesting move away from the Microsoft stables. Garmin-Asus’s current launches, the M20 and the G60, both run Windows Mobile and it’d be no surprise if Asus doesn’t follow Acer’s lead with Android platforms on their PCs too.

If having Garmin in on the deal didn’t already feel like a way Asus could financially hedge bets, then it does now. They’re saying that it’s Garmin who’ll still be taking care of the location-based services as well as geo-tagging but I can still see most users opting for Google maps.

All the same, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one of these. Say what you like about Asus but they’re innovative. The Keyboard and touchscreen Eee PC T91 are evidence of that if nothing else. I’d be surprised if they made a mess of Android, especially with Garmin sitting on their shoulder.

(via PC World)

T91 preview:

Daniel Sung