GPS-maker Garmin will launch its long-awaited new smartphone in Asia within the next month, the company noted at its annual meeting late last week. According to an Associated Press report, COO Cliff Pemble told investors that the so-called ‘nuvifone’ would go on sale in selected Asian markets in late June or early July, but said that the North American and European launches were still on hold. The firm reportedly showcased two versions of the nuvifone at the meeting; the device is a touchscreen smartphone that integrates features used in Garmin’s GPS devices such as turn-by-turn driving directions, traffic warnings and a search engine for nearby restaurants and stores.

The report notes that the launch of the device has been repeatedly delayed having been originally earmarked for launch in the first half of this year. “We haven’t, unfortunately, performed the way we hoped to on releasing the product,” admitted Pemble. The report cites technical issues and ongoing negotiations with mobile operators as key reasons for the delay. It adds, however, that a North American version is still expected in the second half of this year.