CES: Mio merges brand with Navman and unveils new products

Mio's dual sided phone
Mio's dual sided phone
Mio Technology Corporation announced yesterday that it is merging the Navman and Mio brands. Both companies are subsidiaries of MiTAC International Corporation; Mitac bought Navman in March 2007.

“With the merger of the Mio and Navman brands, two complementary organizations have been brought together with a shared passion for delivering consumers the best navigation experience,” said Samuel Wang, president, Mio Technology Corporation. “Mio Technology brings core competencies in hardware to the table, while Navman brings expertise in software and content, creating a new brand that is better able to create unique, innovative products and services.”

Despite the merger, the Navman brand will continue to exist in select markets where it has been strong in the past such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Consumer Electronics Show
Mio Technology is taking the advantage of its presence at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas to showcase three new products: two “connected PNDs” and a dual sided navigation phone.

“CES gives us an opportunity to showcase our full range of unique GPS devices available in stores now, but also gives visitors a look into the future of the market and what they may see on shelves in the coming months,” said Samuel Wang, president, Mio Technology Corporation.

New PNDs
Under the new “Move” range Mio features a PND that includes Bluetooth for hands free call and data connection to the web within a 17 mm thin sleek form factor with a 4.3 inches screen. Mio also demonstrated an even smaller form factor – a 13mm thin device - with GPRS built-in.

In addition to these two products, the company has unveiled its "MioMore Online" connected service. MioMore Online gives users access to real-time information such as local searches, traffic and weather information. Mio Technology also explained it wants to work closely with local content providers “to offer the most relevant and useful information to consumers”.

The software on these devices is a new flavor of the Navman navigation software found in previous Navman PNDs and developed by the company in New Zealand. Moving forward, Mio will continue to use the Navman software in its entry level “Move” range. The MioMap software based on the Nav N Go developments will be used for an upper level range.

Stylish phone

Also on display is Mio Technology’s dual-sided navigation phone concept. It offers two devices in one package: a normal keyboard and display in one side for the phone and a full touch screen display in the other side for navigation. The handset is rather stylish compared to the bulky smartphones produced by Mio so far.

While neither the price nor the availability of these devices is known at this point, Mio wants the market to acknowledge it is working seriously on offering connected services and the related hardware.

Tuesday, January 8th 2008

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