Apple deal means fruitier in-car sounds
3 August 2006

The in-car CD player could be heading the way of the eight-track thanks to a new deal between Apple, maker of the tiny but massively successful iPod, and Ford, General Motors and Mazda.

The computing giant and the car makers have struck a deal to make iPods easier to use in cars. The aim is to create “seamless iPod integration… making it easy for iPod users to control their iPod’s high-quality sound through their car’s stereo system,” said Apple.

This deal concentrates on US-market cars, with more than 70 per cent of 2007 model-year cars set to offer iPod integration, but Mazda says all of its products worldwide will have iPod connectivity by next year.

Full connectivity allows users to control all aspects of their iPods from their car’s built-in audio controls, while also charging the iPod’s battery and storing it safely in the glovebox or centre console. Many car makers already offer iPod integration, including Jaguar, Honda and BMW.

The deal strikes another blow for Apple and its domination of the portable music industry: manufacturers of other devices have struggled to make an impression on this fast-expanding market.

The really good news for Autocar readers, of course, is that this will give your passengers a better opportunity to view the latest Autocar podcast on a video iPod.

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