Merc will offer iPhone integration in its cars from 2009
26 June 2008

Mercedes-Benz will become the first manufacturer to offer bespoke Apple iPhone integration in its cars from 2009. A special centre console-mounted cradle has been developed to allow drivers to switch between the iPhone’s telephone and audio functions on the go. For ease of use, the iPhone can be controlled using the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel. Information like track titles and phone status will be displayed on the car’s central display screen. The system will also be available as an aftermarket kit for existing cars, suitable for all Mercs apart from the A- and B-Class. It will cost about £200 and will be available from Benz dealerships.

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11

26 June 2008

I must say, I am not sure why this is newsworthy. Apart form the fact that the iPhone is a 2nd rate piece of kit all this is saying is that apple have paid Merc a big fat commision to do this, so just another drab marketing exercise. Yawn. Apple is the new Microsoft anyway :)

Love the smell of a V8 in the morning.

26 June 2008

The iPhone is no good ?

26 June 2008

Well, I had one and it looked pretty and everything, just kept crashing all the time or deciding it did not want to turn itself on. Just bitter I guess.

Love the smell of a V8 in the morning.

26 June 2008

Well that must mean they're all crap then..... I'll throw my perfectly well-behaved iPod away right now.

26 June 2008

Its interesting that the manufacturers are investing alot of money in a single brand of phone (which hasnt been anywhere near as successful as planned). Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket! Audi is planning something similar for the forthcoming A1 and no doubt others will follow. Guessing by the length of time it usually takes to produce this sort of technology I suspect that work on it began before the I-Phone was actually launched - and was based on the success of the I-Pod. What i would like to know is: Who is paying who? I think Apple will be the only winner in all of this.

27 June 2008

It's the branding of iPod and iPhone, and the ability to go to Apple and get the specs that allows it to be a dominant interface in the automotive audio (and now phone) market. Being able to easily get the information to integrate means that automotive manufacturers/developers (it may appear on a Merc, but who actually developed it?) are more likely to do so. I haven't heard of a Zune, or Zen adaptor, or any other mp3 player (save the "mp3 port" which is often a crude aux input).

If Nokia, Sony, Motorola, Samsung etc came up with a standard connector, standard control protocol then we might see more integration like this, especially as phones get more capable to hold significant amounts of music. For voice there's already bluetooth - which could also do what a dock/cable does with one limitation - power.

27 June 2008

The thing with Apple is the software is so good, and many people tend to buy the hardware - whether ipod, iphone , ibook, mac, etc - because of this. Which is why I originally bought the iPod instead of something by Creative or whoever. Even though you can use iTunes with other players, it always seems to be easier with the original hardware. Plus Apple stuff is great to use, fantastic interface, reliable (in my experience), etc etc. Plus their hardware is incredibly stable. However, I haven't bought an iPhone as I don't want to be tied to a long term O2 contract.

27 June 2008

This hardly seems like enough to release a press release about, especially since apple hold such an unbelieveably small share of the mobile market. Apples best sales quarter for the iPhone was the last quarter of 2007 which included the much-hyped launch. But in that time they were still, at best, an insignificant player in the mobile market (see below).

The vast majority of Nokia phones of recent years (possibly their entire current line-up) have MP3 functionality often with several gigabytes of storage, so it seems strange the car makers don't want to provide access to their stored music as well.

And the crazy thing is these manufacturers DO have a standard interface, one that works for most standalone MP3 players as well. It's called USB, and it's on the front of every computer in the world!!! Plug any SonyEriccson, Nokia or LG in and it instantly gets recognised as a micro-drive and makes all its data available.

Why don't more manufacturers just give us a USB connection in the dashboard. This would instantly give access to a library of songs stored on most handsets from all the popular makers, while also charging the phone.

Come on Merc, there are more phones and music players out there that act as USB microdrives then there are iPods and iPhones.

Handset sales Q4 2007

Nokia 133.5 million
Samsung 46.4 million
motorolla 40.9 million
sonyEricsson 30.8 million
LG 23.7 million
...
...
Apple 2.3 million

27 June 2008

Yeah but how many Merc drivers use/are likely to use iPhones is the question!

27 June 2008

Of course. I've got not problem with them making an iPhone dock - if the market is there then Merc have every right to fill it.

I just think it's silly that they go to the effort of making a special dock (which they are sufficiently proud of to make a press release) for the 5-odd million iPhones, but they don't make a USB port for the hundreds of millions of USB compatable devices out there.

I'm sure there are customers out there who will appreciate an iPhone dock. But I am equally sure that there will be far more people out there who won't be able to plug their MP3 playing phone into their car, even though it would be a much quicker and simpler technical job for Merc. They are bound to get round to it eventually, it's just a shame that in this case their priorities have been dictated by fashion rather than meeting the greatest consumer need first.

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