RUMOR: Apple prepping vehicle navigation system

According to German news magazine “Focus,” Apple is currently prepping an in-car navigation system with DaimlerChrysler.

Rough translation from German:

After computers, MP3 players and mobile phones, Apple will soon offer vehicle navigation and sound systems. Apple’s first partner is Mercedes which will exclusively offer the new Apple device for six months. The system is a combined iPod, communications, and navigation unit for debut in 2009. It’s unclear whether Apple – as with iPhone – will use GPS or rely on Google Maps for navigation aid.

Full article (in German) here.
Rumor. Also, it sounds suspiciously like an excellent way to highlight the iPhone’s lack of GPS just prior to launch, rather than report about a new Apple product, but, hey, maybe that’s just due to our rough translation. What better way to get your anti-iPhone message across than to embed it into a somewhat wild Apple rumor and let the mill take it from there? We’ve filed it under “Surreptitious FUD” for the time being — which means Apple and DaimlerChrysler will probably issue a joint press release debuting the thing later today. wink

29 Comments

  1. Seems wildly speculative to me. And particularly uninformed – especially when the author doesn’t seem to realise that GPS and Google Maps are complementary, not alternatives !

  2. If the product is due for 2009 there is NO WAY Apple will annouce it 2 years before release.

    Apple does not pre-announce products – especially ones that are so far in the development cycle that are 2 years away.

    I file this under FUD.

    It aint gonna happen for at least 2 years (IF it is true of course!)

  3. Seems also wildly speculative to me, and perhaps with a dubious motivation behind it like MDN thinks possible, who knows.

    But I disagree with MDN’s take in labeling the lack of GPS as an “anti-iPhone message”. The lack of GPS is a valid critisism for those who want / need it, and should be on the board.

    There is a line between being passionate versus being zealous. It is in no-ones interest to cross that line, also not in Apple’s interest. Blind customers don’t help them along to get things even better than they already are.

    Also, isn’t GPS a feature already promised by Apple sometime after launch? So a valid critisism (for some) of the first batch of iPhones, but soon to be adressed by Apple.

  4. what a bunch of BS. I can imagine a “ipod package” type deal which includes a nice sound system and navigation etc… but i seriously doubt apple will be making those components. I think they know better than to get into those businesses

  5. I have thought for a while that a full-screen iPod (iPhone) would be perfect to slip into a notch on the dash to control at least car audio and maybe much more. Makes tons of sense to me.

  6. Since Chrysler is doing so well (Daimler is in the process of dumping it), why would Apple debut a new technology by coupling with a sinking ship?

    Apple has compared themselves to BMW in the past because BMW only has a luxury line and is sensitive to design across all models. Doesn’t this seem like a much more possible partnership if such a technology package even exists at all? Remember who was first to offer iPod integration, folks.

  7. @Umm…

    The rumor is that apple is working with mercedes benz (a part of diamler chrysler). However you are right in that apple in the past has been quick to partner with BMW (the ipod integration, for example)

  8. by the way, where the hell is the GPS for Macs?

    Garmin announced it in Jan. 2006 for shipment in summer 2006 with the fitness products, and shipment by the end of 2006 for ALL their products.

    Where is it Garmin?

    Apple should team with Google Maps to produce GPS enabled laptops as an upgrade option. Google could make an offline version of maps for the Macbook Pros with GPS option. Friggin sweet.

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