Garmin: 'we'll have to make decisions within the next couple of quarters' on future of phone business

It doesn't take a rocket scientist -- er, make that a smartphone industry analyst -- to figure out that Garmin's been underperforming in the handset game since it tied up with ASUS early last year; notable missteps have included lackluster hardware, a hopelessly delayed first model, banking fortunes on WinMo in its twilight years, and a general failure to capture the kinds of blockbuster carrier deals that can prop up your bottom line. Indeed, it wasn't long ago that the company went public with the fact that Garmin-Asus' financials weren't where they needed to be, but things are getting a little more serious now: CFO Kevin Rauckman has mentioned in an interview that they'll need to decide "within the next couple of quarters whether [they] continue to invest or whether [they] pull back." Of course, "pull back" is probably code for "cut and run," since there's really no good way to half-ass your smartphone presence and still earn customer loyalty and turn a profit. Looking at Garmin's bigger picture, it still doesn't really need to make smartphones to survive -- the PND market remains healthy, and the company has a huge presence in the marine and aviation industries -- but we're sure they'd like a piece of the cellular pie. Touch nut to crack, isn't it, guys?