Garmin thinking of pulling out of mobile market

The maker of the  GPS navigator which insists on sending us through the centre of Rome when it has been closed off to traffic since the time of Julius Caesar, Garmin might leave the smartphone business.

According to Reuters, Garmin has said that if it does not see some light at the end of the tunnel in the next couple of quarters it will pull out of the market.

In the second quarter, smartphone sales managed only $27 million, which is well below the outfit’s expectations.

Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman said he was being pragmatic about it all.

If it was not successful then the outfit will have to sit back and evaluate that and consider making the best decision for the business.

“We’ll have to make decisions within the next couple of quarters—whether we continue to invest or whether we pull back,” he said.

Garmin should be doing OK. It is making phones based on the Android operating system, and in partnership with Taiwan’s Asustek.

It got into smartphones because it predicted that the need for standalone navigation devices was dropping fast.

Things got worse when Google said it would start offering turn-by-turn navigation for free on Android devices, which led to Microsoft and Nokia following.

Garmin needs to sell a million smartphones a year for it to be worthwhile. Its top brand is the Garmin-Asus Garminfone.