Apple has inked more deals with auto manufacturers that will allow users to integrate their iPod into their vehicles more easily. They have just made deals with Ford, General Motors and Mazda. This is in addition to the current integration offered by BMW, Acura, Audi, Ferrari, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen. That means that iPod integration will be offered in 70% of the vehicles sold in the US in 2007.
Smart play on Apple’s part, make it the de facto standard for automobile integration, and their market share is safe for quite a while longer. Integration with the auto’s existing controls and a simple hook up are the key. Tape adapters and FM transmitter models are just not what people would ideally like to use. How is another player supposed to compete with that? What choice do they have? Either they try to duplicate the iPod output, which would most likely have patent issues, or get the automakers to support their device as well. Not impossible, but not going to be easy either.
My only complaint with this is the cost. I looked at adding the iPod Music Link that Honda offers, and it costs $214, another $100 or so if you want it installed. It will cost me more for the damn interlink than for the iPod itself. I did see a Ferrari adapter for $199, Iguess I just bought the wrong car to be able to save money.