First Garmin-Asus smartphones due out next week

The first smartphones from the new joint venture between GPS device maker Garmin and electronics vendor Asustek Computer will be available in Taiwan next week and the rest of the world in the coming months, Garmin-Asus said Friday.

The Nuvifone G60, which has a 3.55-inch touchscreen and uses a Linux OS, will be in stores July 27 in Taiwan and then in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of August, the company said. The smartphone will be available in Europe and the U.S. later this year.

The smartphone will cost NT$16,999 (US$519) in Taiwan and will be sold in retail stores on the island, a company representative said. Details on pricing and where the handsets can be purchased in other markets will be announced in coming months.

The Nuvifone M20, which has a 2.8-inch touchscreen and runs Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional will hit stores in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand next month and in Europe later this year.

Pricing will be made available closer to the launch dates, the company said.

Garmin-Asus has said it will launch its first smartphone with Google’s Android operating system next year. Android, developed by Google, is a Linux-based operating system and software platform for smartphones designed to take advantage of Google’s online services, such as Gmail and Google Docs.

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