Back in January, Garmin announced their first combination of a GPS unit and mobile phone called the Nuviphone.
The Nuviphone was originally slated for Q3 of this year, but this morning, Garmin announced that things were delayed till the first half of 2009 due to “carrier requirements”.
While this delay may seem like bad news, it is actually not all doom and gloom. Having to make changes for mobile phone carriers means there is clearly significant interest in it from the mobile operators which means you should be able to buy the phone directly from your phone company, with a significant discount.
This 3G enabled phone will come preloaded with maps of the US or Europe and even allows you to do online Google searches from inside the map application. By combining a phone and a GPS unit, the Nuviphone also provides online access to gas prices, local weather reports, sports scores and real-time traffic.
In coming years, I’m sure we’ll see more GPS units become connected to the Internet. Magellan are working on one and the Dash Express has been available for several months. As more and more mobile phones add GPS, we’ll see more and more GPS units add a phone. The ability to do an online search for something directly on your GPS unit, is a very powerful feature.