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July 19, 2002

Garmin® Debuts Pilot-Friendly GPSMAP® 196 Portable Navigator


OLATHE, Kan. — Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), today announced that it is introducing the GPSMAP 196 — a fast, crisp, feature-rich aviation portable GPS device for pilots and flight instructors. The company will unveil the product at AirVenture 2002 in Oshkosh, Wis., as the latest addition to its popular line of pilot-friendly portables and said the GPSMAP 196 not only was shipping, but would also be sold at the show — the world’s largest gathering of pilots.

The GPSMAP 196 continues the legacy of the popular GPSMAP 195 aviation portable and will replace it in Garmin's lineup of aviation handhelds. The GPSMAP 196 provides a second layer of situational awareness for pilots, allowing them not only to see their position along a route on an electronic map that integrates Jeppesen® and general landmark data, but also view GPS-derived ground speed, altitude, vertical speed and turn coordination. Pilots will see the same robust mapping, intuitive software and ease-of-use interface that initially attracted them to the GPSMAP 195. But they will also notice large leaps in performance: Twice the redraw speed and twice the screen resolution.

Innovative Features:

Garmin has added an automatic logbook feature to the GPSMAP 196 that enables aviators to answer three important questions – when, where, and how long. The internal logging system is GPS-derived and stores the date, points of departure and arrival, day/night flight conditions, and total duration of flight. As an added benefit, Garmin has developed FlightBook software that allows pilots to upload data from the automatic logbook and enter aircraft information, procedural comments, instrument approaches, landings, and VFR/IFR daytime conditions. A printout helps to organize pilot and flight instructor records. The software can be downloaded from Garmin's website in August.

The GPSMAP 196 also incorporates runway extensions on the internal map database. Similar to a localizer function on an approach plate, a runway extension appears as a "cone" on the basemap. It helps the pilot to find an airport, the appropriate flight path and the landing pattern alignment — an especially helpful tool on hazy days in congested airspace or when flying into an unfamiliar airport.

The GPSMAP 196 also provides easier access to aviation data using a highlighting function. For instance, when the pilot moves the cursor to an aviation icon and highlights a particular VOR or NDB, the identifier, name and frequency is displayed. The pilot can then tune the frequency on their avionics without having to search further.

Cross-Platform Capabilities:

"With the GPSMAP 196, we have blended our latest innovations in aviation, marine and automotive portable navigation to deliver a no-excuses, lightning-fast device that is truly a cross-platform navigator," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing. "The GPSMAP 196 offers pilots more utility than any aviation portable on the market."

The GPSMAP 196 also combines the user interface of the popular GPSMAP 176 marine portable and the versatile GPS V mobile navigation device to create a GPS navigator that is easy to move from the cockpit to an automobile or boat.

The GPSMAP 196 has built-in automotive capabilities like automatic route generation, turn-by-turn guidance, and audible alerts that make driving a snap. Simply input a destination and the device calculates the shortest or fastest route using the internal basemap of highways and thoroughfares. Then it guides the user through a series of turns, alerting him or her when it is time to turn or when he/she is approaching the destination. The optional auto kit includes two mounts, a USB data card programmer, a 64-MB data card and the MapSource® City Select® CD-ROM for detailed mapping and address look-up capabilities for cities in either North America or Europe.

Pilots with a passion for boating or sailing will appreciate the marine mode on the GPSMAP 196 — especially with a worldwide marine database and U.S. tide data. When coupled with the optional marine kit (USB data card programmer, 16-MB data card, and BlueChart® CD), the GPSMAP 196 displays such information as depth contours, inter-tidal zones, spot soundings, wrecks, navaids, port plans, restricted areas, cable areas, anchorages and much more. And they shouldn’t worry about getting the unit wet; Garmin engineered the GPSMAP 196 to be waterproof.

Other specifications of the GPSMAP 196:

  • Detailed basemap: General map data including highways, major roads, river, lakes and borders
  • Dedicated buttons: Find, Menu, Zoom Out/In, Page, Quit, Navigation, Power, and Nearest
  • Accurate: WAAS-capable GPS receiver with accuracy within 10 feet in North America
  • Sharp display: High-resolution (320x240 pixel count), 12-level grayscale display (3.75 inches diagonally)
  • Long battery life: 12 hours of typical use on four AA batteries
  • Multi-platform navigation: Land and water modes for easy navigation in a car or boat; accepts data from Garmin's MapSource products (City Select for driving, BlueChart for saltwater and Fishing Hot Spots for freshwater applications)
  • Waterproof to IPX-7 standards – can be immersed in one meter of water for 30 minutes
  • Lightweight: Only 12 ounces
  • Routes, Tracks, Waypoints: 50 routes (50 waypoints each), TracBack® technology, 1,000 waypoints with graphical icon identification

The GPSMAP 196 is first being sold at the 2002 AirVenture and will be available through authorized Garmin dealers afterward for a suggested retail price of $1,049. It will ship standard with a yoke mount, GA 26C antenna, 12-volt adapter cable, PC interface cable, and owner’s manual.


Garmin International Inc. is a member of the Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) group of companies, which designs and manufactures navigation, communication and information devices — most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin is a leader in the general aviation and consumer GPS markets and its products serve aviation, marine, outdoor recreation, automotive, wireless and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin, GPSMAP and TracBack are registered trademarks, and MapSource, FlightBook, City Select, BlueChart and GPS V® are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

Notice on forward-looking statements:
This release includes projections and other forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Any statements regarding the company’s future financial position, revenues, earnings, product introductions, plans and objectives are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of risk factors affecting Garmin. Information concerning risk factors that could affect Garmin's actual results is contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2001 filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of Garmin’s Form 10-K can be downloaded from http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html.