Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) is tired of smartphones stealing its thunder.

These days, every high-end phone worth its salt comes with mapping software and turn-by-turn navigation aids. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) provides it for free in Android versions 2.1 and later, and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) likes its mapping solution so much that the Finns are begging for help to promote it. If you have an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, I'm afraid you have to download a third-party application, and the expensive ones seem much better than the free or cheap stuff.

Well, Garmin will release the Android-based Garminfone on June 9, hoping to convince us all that a purpose-built navigating tool that also happens to do phone calls will serve you better than a phone with GPS features. Garmin's first attempt, the Nuvifone G60, sank without a trace last fall when reviewers found very little to recommend the phone. This time, Garmin relies on the already established Android platform with some navigational special sauce, which might iron out the worst of the old wrinkles.

Launch partner T-Mobile, a division of Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), is doing its best to promote the launch, including a Twitter-based sweepstakes posted on Facebook for double social hipster points. But at $199 per unit, the chance of making a market impact stands somewhere between slim and none. The Droid Incredible and EVO 4G, both made by HTC for Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), respectively, carry the same price tag and better hardware packages. iPhone 3G and 3GS models are much cheaper and still sensibly equipped.

Garmin had better have one amazing GPS package up its sleeve, lest the Garminfone should follow its older sibling into rapid obsolescence. Consumer choice is never a bad thing, but I don't think consumers will choose this product.

In the long run, I think Garmin needs to find a smartphone designer sugar daddy, because stand-alone GPS gadgets won't cut the mustard much longer. Good luck finding a buyer, guys.

Am I being too hard on Garmin, or will its best efforts really never be good enough? That's a discussion for the comments box below.