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Off track: Garmin Nuvifone delayed till 2009

Garmin announces that it will delay its first smartphone, the Garmin Nuvifone, till the first half of 2009.

If you've been waiting for the Garmin Nuvifone, you're going to have to wait a while longer or perhaps start looking at some alternatives. Wednesday, the GPS manufacturer announced that its first smartphone will be delayed till the first half of 2009, though it was expected in Q4 2008. According to Garmin, the delay is because of "carrier specific requirements" that makes it necessary for the company to go back and make changes to the handset. An official carrier has not been named, but many believe that it will be AT&T.

Even with this delay, the Garmin Nuvifone faces an uphill battle as more and more smartphones come out with integrated GPS. AT&T, for example, already has six GPS-enabled smartphones on the market, including the AT&T Tilt, Samsung BlackJack II, and Apple iPhone 3G. The technology isn't unique anymore so it will really come down to the navigation software. Garmin's certainly has the experience having been in the GPS business since 1989, so let's hope the Garmin Nuvifone is worth the wait.