Garmin Readying Android Phone For 2009?

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GPS-maker Garmin is reportedly joining the Google Android party and preparing to release a phone based on the open-source mobile operating system sometime next year.

Details are scant, but the DigiTimes, quoting a Garmin executive, wrote "Garmin also plans to launch self-developed Android handsets in the second half of 2009, with production to be outsourced."

While Garmin has not specifically said that it is working on an Android handset -- and has pointed out inaccuracies in the DigiTimes report -- it did just recently join the Open Handset Alliance, the consortium of tech and mobility giants working on the open-source Android project. Garmin, along with 13 others, joined the alliance earlier this month.

Garmin has long been in the GPS game, making widely popular personal navigation devices under its Nuvi brand. Joining the Open Handset Alliance is a signal that it is hitching its wagon to the Android train.

Garmin joins a host of other companies that have stated their intent to develop Android-based devices. T-Mobile was first to the table with the release of the HTC-built T-Mobile G1. Since then, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Australia-based Kogan Technologies are said to be readying smart phones or mobile devices based on Android.

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