How will vehicle makers integrate Apple’s iPhone?

“Car manufacturers love the iPod, and many of them have offered iPod integration as a feature on their vehicles. An FM transmitter can get the job done, and I’ve used one for the past couple of years, but it’s not perfect by any means, and the interference and lack of sound quality can really get to you after a while. When you’ve experienced this, you begin to understand why full iPod compatibility in an automobile is such a useful thing,” Brandon Watts writes for OSWeekly.

Watts writes, “Now that the iPhone is distracting some of the attention away from the iPod, there have been discussions taking place about how auto companies will utilize the iPhone in their vehicles. They’ve done a good job and made some real progress with the iPod, but the iPhone isn’t just about playing music. All vehicles have sound systems that are built for playing music, so the iPod is right at home in that situation. In contrast, with the iPhone, music is just part of the equation because phone calls and Internet functionalities are also very dominant features of the device. Therefore, how will car companies utilize the iPhone? Will they react favorably to it?”

Full article here.

Related article:
RUMOR: BMW to be first with full Apple iPhone vehicle integration – February 14, 2007


  1. I love the iPod integration in my Scion but at times I need to look up a phone number or check my schedule. I have to unplug the iPod to do so. I suppose a more expensive car could use a dash screen to access all the iPod menus? With the phone the music could fade and you could answer the call from a steering wheel button. You’d need a Mic somewhere.

  2. Don’t drive and scroll. Or chat on the phone. Or watch videos. Or play games. Or surf. Or answer e-mails. Or voice mail. Or clip your friggin’ toenails.

    Uncommon sense would tell people to let only a passenger do those distracting things. Or pull over. This goes for any big distraction like eating, putting on makeup, shaving, talking on phones or sex.

    Just drive, dammit.

    We need an updated “Blood on the Highway” movie and mandatory viewing for all licensees.

  3. I would love to see the New Iphone become the only object you need. Hence In the car it could be placed center console. I mean it would be great to have the phone with built in Navigation to have in the car while it could play your tunes and be on the phone at the same time. That’s how Apple should go about it. One tool that does everything for the center attention in your car, and when you come hook it up to your charger where it will go Wifi straight to your applet.v to watch heroes…

  4. The real question in this article is how else can car manufacturers integrate the iPhone. Will the iPhone be able to share its internet connection (granted if the iPhone goes 3-4G)? That opens up a new ballgame of mobile computing!

  5. Brandon Watts writes, “…but it’s not perfect by any means…”

    This is a mighty forgiving assessment of iPOD integration into autos. I just bought an Accord, and I got without the iPOD dock because it didn’t seem like a very tight integration – sure enough I was right – integration was pretty much a case of the cure being worse than the ilness. I went so far as to check on 3rd party solutions, all fall very short of being with the cost of the product, or even my time if the product were free. I don’t know why no auto mfg. has yet provided real iPOD integration into their products.

    The iPhone? Based on the iPod I’m not even sure I should hold my breath.

  6. FM transmitters are garbage. Even the $99 ones.

    There are lots of ways you can direct-connect your iPod to your car, even if you have a factory stereo without an AUX input on the front or back.

    And here’s an interesting point I’d like to make…

    What if you happen to drop your coveted iPhone on the ground or into some water, etc. Now all of a sudden, you’re out $500, out a phone, out an iPod, and totally disconnected to the fast-paced digital world in which we live. At least if you have ‘non-iPhone’ phone…you still have your iPod. The iPhone seems like overkill to me.

    I don’t know…I’m not convinced about this iPhone, and especially don’t agree with the hype.

  7. Sony has a new aftermarket head unit with an iPod connector–first of it’s kind. This is basically what BMW and other have already done. It seem plasible that the high end car manafacturers like BMW and others, who have onboard phone systems, could integrate with the iPhone the same way. My money is on BMW being the first to do this – again.

  8. Studies have shown that driving with passenger is not nearly as dangerous as chatting on a a cell phone.

    While a conversation with a passenger can be distracting, the passenger is also concerned with their own survival and will hopefully know enough to shut up in dangerous situations. A passenger can also warn the driver about approaching danger and make sure the driver does not fall asleep. A passenger can also do things like change a CD so the driver can keep their attention on the road.

  9. I would imagine that the iPhone would need to quickly develop a hands-free/verbal commands/speakerphone type of system to be able to be utilized with automobile manufacturers.

    With the way that anti-cell phone while driving laws are popping-up all over the country and the world, this is something that will need to be developed for automobiles. Probably more like an OnStar or some of these verbal GPS systems that are in cars now.

    Apple should really consider this or get a third-party developer on this kind of development right away. This is a market that will be in great demand in the next few years and not the beautifully graphic system that Apple is making.

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