Garmin’s Nuvifone to get social networking app from Gypsii

Until now Garmin has been very shy about the location-enabled applications to be found on the forthcoming Nuvifone, with the exception of the in-car navigation application. In particular there was no sign of Garmin’s interest in friend finder or GPS-enabled social networking. Therefore it was interesting to hear today that mobile social networking provider GyPSii, signed a multi-year worldwide agreement with Garmin. GyPSii incorporates a wide range of location-specific functions and mobile lifestyle services, including mobile search, user generated content-sharing and social networking.

“Under the terms of the agreement, GyPSii will provide technology, products, worldwide data center infrastructure, development licenses, and GyPSii branding rights to Garmin, on a worldwide non-exclusive basis for a range of Garmin products,” said GyPSii. “The agreement provides development licenses to Garmin, to leverage the GyPSii location-based geo-social networking services infrastructure for internal development and integration with its products. The agreement also has provisions for revenue sharing between GyPSii and Garmin”. At this time nor GyPSii neither Garmin are ready to disclose what kind of revenue (advertising, subscription) they intend to generate from this partnership.

Garmin is the first device manufacturer signed by GyPSii. While Shane Lennon, vice president of marketing at Gypsii today said to GPS Business News: “I cannot speculate […] only Garmin will announce which products GyPSii will be running on”; it is pretty obvious the forthcoming Garmin Smartphone is the platform that will use GyPSii software.

It is also interesting to see this GyPSii agreement with Garmin happening the same week Nokia acquired social networking startup Plazes. Device manufacturers are definitely getting interested in social networking software and communities. GyPSii, who raised enough money to effectively market its solution on a global scale, is therefore in a good position to take advantage of this trend. On this topic Shane Lennon added: “we have more coming in the pipe, there will be other announcements in a month or two”.

Thursday, June 26th 2008

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