DeLorme have been quietly “rebranding” for a while, but this seems to be the first product released under the Garmin name.
Yes it could. The current DeLorme inReach products work well as satellite communicators, but the basic GPS facilities are weak. For example there is no backdrop mapping or support for national map datums or coordinate grids. There is obvious potential for bringing in Garmin’s expertise in these areas. From the photos of the new products, it looks like they have incorporated mapping at least. I hope it hasn’t compromised battery life too much - my DeLorme Explorer uses about 20% of its charge on a typical day out whereas my Garmin GPS is lucky to get through the day without a battery change.
There is of course a risk in this takeover. DeLorme struck me from the outset as a small, strongly focused company. Customer service and technical support has been excellent. Whenever I’ve had an issue, it has been easy to get in touch with somebody who can deal with my problem efficiently and does not treat me like a complete idiot. There is an obvious risk that the technical experts will be firewalled behind a generic Garmin helpdesk and getting support will become the frustrating experience that it so often can be with large companies.
Of all the companies that could have taken over DeLorme, Garmin is probably the best we could have hoped for. Let’s just hope that they don’t lose the plot.