Apple, BMW develop iPod music device for cars, likely to be first of several deals with automakers

“Apple Computer Inc. and automaker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG are developing a device that will let users listen to songs from their iPod music players through the radios of BMWs and Minis. The adaptors will be available in vehicles sold in the U.S., Eckhard Wannieck, a BMW spokesman at the carmaker’s Munich headquarters, said in an interview. He wouldn’t elaborate,” Dan Stets and Peter J. Brennan report for Bloomberg News.

“A deal with BMW is likely to be the first of several pairings between Apple and carmakers as the computer maker, once mainly known for its Macintosh PCs, tries to sell more iPods. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, in Europe this week to open iTunes online music stores, said he is in talks with automakers he wouldn’t name,” Stets and Brennan report.

“‘It’s just the tip of the iceberg,’ said Jim Grossman, a portfolio manager at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which manages $64 billion. ‘The market opportunity for people who would like to play iPods in their cars is huge.’ BMW will release details on models and prices in coming weeks, Wannieck said. The devices will allow users to control their iPod players in the same way they would control the radio… Jobs on Monday said the company will introduce a music product for cars later this year,” Stets and Brennan report.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Thanks, Apple. We’ve only been asking for almost a year. wink

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple request: we need the Apple ‘iBox’ and ‘iPodCar’ products now – August 07, 2003
Apple’s new iTunes Car Stereo should debut this fall for holiday sales season – August 07, 2003


  1. This is a dissapointing solution. I want to use the iPod in the car I drive now, not a BMW.

    Having said that, iPods could become The Next Great Thing for car sales. Air-conditioner? Check. Central locking? Check. iPod? Check!

  2. Sol, I don’t think this will only be limited to BMW’s. I think it will start with BMW’s, but will also eventually be available in Ford’s, Chevy’s, and others as well.

  3. “Sol, I don’t think this will only be limited to BMW’s. I think it will start with BMW’s, but will also eventually be available in Ford’s, Chevy’s, and others as well.”

    Kind of like iTunes. First available for Macs only and then for PC users.

  4. Please you must be joking…

    There is nothing wrong with the Ford Taurus. Throughout the entire business world Ford Taurus is the automobile used daily. Why would you think that anyone would want an iPod in a BMW. The whole world uses Ford Tauruses and the departments of all most all major corporations use Fords.

    The Ford Taurus is the standard for corporate and personal automobiles. We are all very happy with the products Ford provides. If Apple had anywhere near the standards of Microsoft, they would have developed a solution for Ford first.

  5. Audi introduced a digital music system a few weeks ago that would be pretty cool except that it requires a pee-cee. Basically you download MP3/WMA files from your computer using their software to a storage device that fits in the back where CD changers used to be before they moved to the dash. The radio allows you to select the device and control it from the radio. Song & Artist info is displayed on the radio as well as in the intstrument cluster.

    It doesn’t apear to play protected-WMA and certainly isn’t compatible with iTunes/iPod. I gave Audi an earful. Hopefully they will be able to work with Apple as well. I really want that new A3 next year!
    More info at:

  6. it seems to me that sooner or later someone will come up with an MP3 player that can be plugged right into the car’s dash when driving, and unplugged and carried about for personal use when not driving. Probably would sport Satellite radio compatibility as well. Now THAT would be an iPod killer, unless Apple gets there first.

    Steve, are you listening?

  7. How is this the first, Grant it it wasn’t a great implementation but they where bundling iPod’s with VW Beetles for a while and volkswagen had a kit to install the iPod in your car. (Consisted of a cup holder adapter to hold the iPod, Cigarette lighter charger, and a tape adapter to play it) Like I said not a great implementation, but still the first.

  8. Re: Ford Taurus.

    As mainstream as you THINK the iPod is.. only 3 million sold in the world..

    Soooo out of NA and Europe and Japan.. there’s …what..around 800 million first worlders?

    And 3 million iPods sold (granted they are scrambling to catch up w demand)

    The point is..’s still a status symbol.. so doing the Dell thing wouldn’t work (Ford).. For the record… Apple’s cache is selling computers that feel first class, at decent prices.. So obviously that ‘feel’ will be in a BMW first

  9. I have a For Taurus, a Mustang and an Explorer. I also have an iPod. I tried the whole iTrip and iRock thing but they sucked. I’m no audiophile but I do know crappy sound when I hear it. All my friends have iPods and they all drive american cars. Ford, Pontiac, Chevy, Jeep. Now that I think of it, none of my european car driving friends even have iPods. Interesting…

  10. First level of integration: As in the bimmer — steering wheel buttons control volume and fwd / back.

    Second level of integration: iPod screen mirrored in the navigator screen.

    Third level of integration: Wirelessly synch’ your car’s built-in iPod [optional extra] from your comp or your iPod.

    Fourth level of integration: plug your butt to the car and it drives itself and blows music outta your ears.

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