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Old 01-13-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
Para504 OP
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Garmin 478 is discontinued...

I did not see this posted elsewhere on the forum... In talking with Garmin customer support this evening, I found out the GPSMAP 478 has been discontinued... No more new units are expected & everything is already in the distributor / retailer inventory. This is not reflected in their website yet. I was hoping someone was wrong and was confusing the 276 vs the 478, but supposedly they double checked it...

Bummer, considering they don't have a decent equivelent to replace it...

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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I reported this within several threads last Fall. The only "old style chartplotters" that will remain (for a while longer) are the Aviation specific GPSMAP 495/6.

I have also suggested on several occasions that this community should be much more vocal with Garmin as to the need for a feature-comparable replacement GPS. That doesn't seem to have happened even though we are a rapidly growing market segment. We made the GPSMAP x7x units one of Garmin's best selling GPS's. The lack of customer demand for such a unit is why we only have the zumo550 and zumo66x units today. Things could be much better for us but money talks in the Personal Navigation Device (PND) business and as a community we are complacent and will use what's available - we adapt rather than demand a better product.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:57 PM   #3
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With the current pricing of the zumo 550 ($899) and given that it does not come with the GXM-40 and the new zumo 665 ($999) which includes it I would not be surprised if it gets the axe too....

I hope you like the 660 and 665 cause that looks like all Garmin has for us.*




*DRTBYK has hinted that an as of yet unannounced Zumo lite is on the way, you could pray that it is the perfect ADV GPS for your x7x replacement.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #4
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The rumored "low-end zumo" is supposed to be based on the nuvi5xx hardware. I wouldn't hold my breath on that unit having all of the things we are asking for with regards to Adv Riding unless they bump up the internal memory significantly and NOT use the nuvi OS. I'm personally not sure I want them to focus on a smaller unit for that task. I'd like to see a zumo660 or a GPSMAP 640 size unit for the "ultimate" Adv GPS with the Oregon OS.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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I got me one of them 478's about a month ago and it was the last one they had at the time. Based on what I had been reading here I thought it might be the thing to do. Still in the box but will get it up and running when the snow starts melting.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTBYK
We made the GPSMAP x7x units one of Garmin's best selling GPS's. The lack of customer demand for such a unit is why we only have the zumo550 and zumo66x units today.
My head hurts trying to make sense of those two statements. Is it one of the best selling GPS's or is there a lack of demand? You can't have both.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:18 PM   #7
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Gosh, maybe I better buy a few more 478's while I can find them.

The people making design decisions at Garmin don't really have any idea how much distance we can cover off highway in a short amount of time.

We just got lucky with the marine units having the features they had. It wasn't intentional to service the Adventure Touring not-so-crowd.

We don't have the demographics to drive any design decisions. Yes, we are old school in that we adapt to the tools and conditions we have.

I remember calling Garmin Tech support one day and I asked for the manager of the marine products tech support group. This guy could care less about what my needs were. Us fools using the marine units for off-highway use were just creating problems for their group. I believe that's why they disabled the track log feature in automotive mode in the 640. Hell we don't need the people paying money for their products being creative and asking all those damn offroad questions.

It seems clear that all the gps manufactures are following the high-volume low cost model and I would really be surprised if it improves until the economy gets cooking again, if ever.

I'm thankful I have what I have. The Zumo has a long way to go to catch up with the 478 for offroad use.

Get em while you can.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garp
My head hurts trying to make sense of those two statements. Is it one of the best selling GPS's or is there a lack of demand? You can't have both.

Sorry for the poor grammar....The point I was trying to convey was that although we bought lots of Chartplotters, when Garmin changed technology direction, we didn't speak with a loud enough voice and demand a product that would replace them. So here we are...MotoJim is the prototypical customer, no voice to the producer, just buy the Discontinued products.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:51 PM   #9
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We have two 478's best GPS I have ever had ( SP#, 2610, 2820, 376) I am thinking of buying a spare unit.

The LD Community has been picking them up as fast as they come available.

As more people use GPS's they have been able to continually dumb them down, we run a 2610 in each car good units but no more map upgrades.

I think 478 users were such a small part of their market, we were of little value.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTBYK
Sorry for the poor grammar....The point I was trying to convey was that although we bought lots of Chartplotters, when Garmin changed technology direction, we didn't speak with a loud enough voice and demand a product that would replace them. So here we are...MotoJim is the prototypical customer, no voice to the producer, just buy the Discontinued products.
As it is Garmin charges a significant premium for the Zumo range, and that is targeted at a pretty broad spectrum of the biker crowd. Personally I think the damn things are a ripoff, they have essentially the same functionality as equivalent $200 units, but we pay 3 times the price.

I can only imagine what they would charge for a unit designed to appeal to the small subset of the Zumo market that wants chartplotting functionality. I suspect you would be looking at a per unit cost of $1000 plus in order to make developing the thing worthwhile for the small sales they woudld get. I can't say I blame them for ignoring the market. I woudl do the same if I was in their shoes
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTBYK
MotoJim is the prototypical customer, no voice to the producer, just buy the Discontinued products.
Well Dan, actually I have talked to the producer. I sit six miles from their world headquarters and know people who work there.

It's my impression that they don't care what our needs are.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:57 AM   #12
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Jim,

Thanks for the feedback. I know there are folks, like you, that have talked with people at Garmin. I was trying to suggest that ALL of us need to do what you have done - communicate with Garmin directly. As a group we don't seem to do that very much and it diminishes our power as consumers. There are Garmin people that ride - some even hang out at AdvRider.com as members of this community. They have been helpful over the years but it is very slow going - as we all have seen.

Having been a product developer and technology sales consultant for many years I sometimes let my frustration with Garmin surface. Don't mean to offend anyone.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I believe that's why they disabled the track log feature in automotive mode in the 640.
I hadn't noticed that! I wan't happy about no NEXRAD in auto mode - now, I'm really unhappy.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
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Although the outcome is the same - the reason for no Track Log or NEXRAD in Automotive Mode are the on-board memory limitations(cost). I was given a GPSMAP 640 to evaluate before it's release and it was then that I saw Garmin's misguided approach to providing Track Navigation (Marine Mode) and Autorouting Map Support (Automotive Mode).

Since on-board memory is relatively expensive (according to Garmin Development) they chose to use a Dual-Boot approach with Software. This allows them to keep hardware cost low and still provide some amount of multiple mode features. With this approach they can't provide the same features in multiple modes (no feature sharing) as that would create duplicate software and quickly overrun the on-board memory limits. If you look at many of their Multi-mode units that have significant feature/function they are using this Dual-Boot approach. Bummer for us as the GPSMAP 640 would have been a good replacement for the old chartplotters if they had just put more memory in it and merged the Feature/Function code.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:47 AM   #15
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Sorry but the GPSmap 620/640 is nothing like the GPSmap 276/376/476/8 series.

It is a nuvi and a GPSmap 450 in one box with next to no technical features in auto mode and an 'odd' way of simplying the features in marine mode. Basically it is a low end unit at a premium price. Why would you buy it ? Certainly not for its features.
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