Garmin Discontinues All But One PDA Model

When we reported on the trimming of the vast majority of Garmin's PDA GPS models earlier in November, it seemed that Garmin was going to keep alive a handful of Palm OS and Windows Mobile GPS handhelds for the forseeable future. Now an article on the Inquirer website indicates that a Garmin spokesperson has admitted that all of their GPS handhelds are dead other than the Palm OS-based iQue 3000, released in early 2006. All of Garmin's Windows Mobile-based units are now discontinued.

The Inquirer article offers some insightful commentary that echoes the general concensus amongst many of the PIC/Palm OS faithful. That is, Garmin is following the "death of the PDA" mentality as a self-fulfilling prophecy amongst manufacturers falling over themselves to force smartphones (and smartphone-based GPS solutions) into users' hands with all due haste.

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SeldomVisitor @ 12/1/2006 1:47:46 PM # Q
== "...That is, Garmin is following the "death of
== the PDA" mentality as a self-fulfilling prophecy
== amongst manufacturers falling over themselves to
== force smartphones (and smartphone-based GPS
== solutions) into users' hands with all due haste..."

Or simply standalone GPS devices that have nothing to do with PDAs or phones.

Garmin iQue post mortem
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/1/2006 11:22:04 PM # Q
I beg to differ, hengeem. PDA and GPS could be a brilliant combination, but the devil is in the details. It all boils down to whether or not the functions are well integrated and if the integration of hardware limits the functionality of either the GPS or PDA components. For Garmin, poor battery life made the GPS component near-useless. Releasing a PDA-centric device that had 90 minute battery life if working as a GPS was truly retarded. W T F were they thinking? Garmin made the mistake of only approaching this from the PDA point of view. Having a second model that was primarily a GPS that happened to also run Palm OS would've been a good idea.

It would've been nice if Garmin had figured out a way to automatically localize any address that had been highlighted in another application on the GPS map. But in some ways, this is probably all academic. Resistance to the Google collective is futile. We are the GOOG. (Bow before the presence of Ms. Hackborn, Sucka!)


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Death of the PDA Marches on

Gekko @ 12/1/2006 3:25:48 PM # Q

Only a fool ignores the obvious.

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Garmin wrecked a great opportunity with CLUMSY execution

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/1/2006 10:50:07 PM # Q
Garmin had the potential to have created a KILLER device that could have been one of the top selling GPS devices on the market. They forgot a couple things, though: handheld GPS devices need to be relatively small, have good battery life and be rugged.

A much smarter idea would have been to have released a device the size of the eTrex line ( using a Treo-style five-way navigation pad and a battery that could give at least 10 hours of continuous use.

The iQue 3000 was an improvement in terms of size, however, it missed on several other fronts, including battery life. And unfortunately, by the time that model was ready, Garmin had already given up on the PDA scene.

As I said before, and the failure of the PDA market has largely been a self-fulfilling prophecy fueled by device manufacturers that ironically shelved their lineups just as they were starting to get things right. (Hello Sony CLIE!)

Its ironic that a GPS company like Garmin couldn't figure out how to make the integration between GPS and PDA work, yet a search engine company like Google has it all figured out. After seeing how slick Google's mobile mapping software looks, right about now I imagine Garmin's probably wetting their pants. The incentive for carrying a stand-alone mobile GPS is going to be pretty low once every basic cell phone ships with an effective GPS mapping application.

Starting in 2007, mobile GPS will become a "must have" feature that many manufacturers and carriers will push in an attempt to differentiate themselves. Don't be put off by the poor implementations of mobile GPS seen in some of the early devices. Mark my words: GPS on cell phones will SOON be a killer app.


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Why only one is left?

asiayeah @ 12/2/2006 4:50:49 AM # Q
Any idea why they choose to leave only one Palm OS based device?

From the article, it looks like their Palm OS based devices are cheaper and their Windows Mobile offerings are too expensive.

Isn't it a good news for Palm OS?

With great power comes great responsiblity.

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