Garmin has been toying with the idea of releasing smartphones for quite awhile now, but it looks like they've now found the right OS to make it happen: Android. CrunchGear is reporting that Garmin intends on creating and releasing Android-powered smartphones (presumably with a hefty focus on GPS functionality) by the end of 2009. They'll use their Nuviphone branding, naturally.
Welcome to the party, Garmin. Now, before you get too far in developing this phone, we wouldn't mind if you released a generic Garmin application with turn-by-turn directions for the rest of us.
Update: Belay that bit about "Nuviphone" and quite possibly the release timeline as well -- Engadget Mobile has updates stating that Nuviphone will still rock some custom version of Linux, not Android. Android's still on the way, though, just not exactly as predicted.