Volkswagen iBeetle gets integrated iPhone dock, and little else

“Apple fans have been itching to see the tech giant flex the full muscle of its iOS operating system in an automotive infotainment system for years, which is why we turned all sorts of excited when we caught wind of the Volkswagen iBeetle,” Zach Bowman reports for Autoblog.

“The machine is headed to the Shanghai Motor Show for a debut, and VW promised it would be one of the ‘first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple,'” Bowman reports. “In reality, the iBeetle offers little more than a dash-mounted dock and a special app that shows a few vehicle functions, which is about as far from an infotainment revolution as you’re likely to find. In fact, the setup is little more than a factory rehash of aftermarket items, and hardly worth a whole model debut at an international motor show.”

Bowman reports, “This is the kind of kit we expect to see as a bullet point on an option sheet, but instead, VW has made this dock+app an entire model by including special “Disc” wheels and iPhone-matching color schemes. The iBeetle will land on dealer lots in the US in 2014, but you can probably make something similar yourself today with an aftermarket dock and an iTunes gift card’s worth of third-party apps.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. This kind of schlocky promotional stuff is what you get when you stoop to Samdung-level marketing ideas and let the Market dictate that you be something you’re not. Hang in there Apple

  2. It was at about the same time as the redesign of the new VW beetles that Apple designed and introduced the first iMac at Macworld in NYC .

    Both were hits that changed the fortunes of these advanced innovators.

  3. That is about the lamest attempt at “integration” as I’ve ever seen. So they stick a cheesy horizontal mount on the dash when the iPhone Home screen is vertical and then they use an old iPhone for the promo. I’ve seen better attempts on “Pimp my Ride”!

  4. Am I the only one who gets the sense that Apple had limited input on the actual integration for this … thing? I mean, the obvious thing to do would be to use an iPad Mini in place of the built-in system, with a specific App or suite of Apps designed with Apple’s help to match or exceed the entire built-in system.

    This … looks like something I could accomplish with a $15 phone holder from Walmart and a Bluetooth connection. Seriously, VW, what da heck?

  5. Typical behind-the-pop-culture-tech auto manufacturers routinely sit in ignorance of. When I bought my Subaru Forester back in 2001 there was nothing to connect a 2G iPod, not even an auxiliary input. It still came with a 6-CD changer (that couldn’t read mp3 disks) and cassette player. I couldn’t believe it THEN. Then I bought my wife’s Infiniti G35 in 2003 and the top of the line audio system was still – CD’s & cassettes!! 2 YEARS LATER. I berated the sale guy over this and their pitiful behind the times offerings. They are still slow today to adopt trends or use crappy ones like Microsoft’s Sync (should be Sunk or Sux). I think BMW has Siri but c’mon c’mon car people, let’s have some action!!! I’m in the market for a new car and want some great Apple tech inside. All others – Google, Microsoft & Samsung especially, need not apply.

  6. I thought I saw a GM commercial advertising Siri integration for the whole system a while back. If VW had done this and a iPad mini in the dash then it would be something to talk about. What they have done is a non story and not worth the time to read.

  7. The biggest problem with Volkswagen in America is Volkswagen of America. We never get the good stuff and Wolfsburg should clean house.

    For my money the existing VW iPhone integration is just fine- Siri is a waste of time and money.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.