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Apple – Coming to a Center Stack Near You

Disclaimer: VehicleVoice and AutoPacific exclusively use Macintosh computers. Beginning in 1986 and continuing through all the rough years, Mac has powered AutoPacific. Never a PC.
FACT: Steve Jobs, Chairman of Apple, Inc. and Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of Volkswagen AG met last week apparently to finalize an Apple/Volkswagen initiative to bring Apple technology to Volkswagen vehicles in the future. The announcement came from Volkswagen with very-secretive Apple refusing to comment. So, we’ll have a Volkswagen “iCar” soon?
RUMOR: Several Apple-related announcements concerning Apple interfaces with cars will be made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Apple iPhone.jpg

iPod, iPhone, SYNC Force Apple to React
We have heard vibrations about Apple beginning to move into the automotive space for years.
First, consumers have been screaming for better solutions to integrate their iPod with their car for years now. Some solutions have been successful. Some have been very crude. But this has forced Apple and the carmakers into a dialog about how to best integrate iPod with their vehicles.
Second, with the recent introduction of the iPhone, Apple has another device that makes the second step towards the holy grail of car-dom. More on that later.
Third, with Microsoft’s SYNC (see the VehicleVoice video podcast of the SYNC system from the 2007 CES) system being launched on Fiats and Fords it is only logical to believe Apple will move into the same space, but probably do it better with more elegance and intuition.
Fourth, Apple’s sense of design would blend perfectly with the design language of several premium brands. Apple could become an icon in automotive entertainment like Bose, Nakamichi, Levinson, Infinity, Rockford Fosgate, but with even more style and elegance.
Fifth, using Apple TV-type interfaces, the car, home computer, iPhone, iPod could be inter-connected wirelessly every time the car pulls into the garage. Steve will own the world.
The Holy Grail – Full Automotive Integration with One Portable Device
Since AutoPacific began working in “Telematics” in the late 1990s, it was apparent that the holy grail for integrating with the automobile would be some sort of portable device that would wirelessly sync with the car. Imagine the car as a receptor and the monitor in the center stack as the display monitoring the interface. A person’s iPhone holding GPS data could immediately sync with the navigation system. The data would be continuously updated through the iPhone and to the car. A person’s address book, music files, etc would be on the iPhone and synced with the car continuously. Since these devices would be on the “human” and not hardwired into the car they could more easily and cheaply upgraded. And, it would all look great!
Can’t wait for CES. I wanna to see this stuff. Hope it’s true.
Just to show the iCar idea is not new, check out this link from 1999. And, check out the 1998 story below the fold.

The following story appeared in 3-Minute Roast in 1998. Interesting prediction, yes?
Cupertino, CA — Those who love the new Volkswagen Beetle and the new Apple iMac computer can have their cake and eat it too (and hope it doesn’t crash) with the new iBeetle, a car that goes from 0 to 60 in the time it takes to download a Pamela Lee nude pic. Apple and VW combined their cutting-edge design to create a car/computer combo, with see-through hood, aqua accents, and a stick shift that will give you carpal tunnel faster than you can say “Hello.”
Design guru Cement Mock had a revelation when he picked up a discarded iMac on the side of the road while driving his new Beetle. “The thing really smelled, and was probably thrown away because the monitor couldn’t be upgraded,” Mock says. “When I saw the iMac in my Beetle, I had a Reese’s Cup revelation. Why not combine two great tastes in one handy car?” The rest was history.
After minutes, even hours, of road-testing using likenesses of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as crash test dummies, Apple’s pseudo-CEO Steve Jobs promised to make the ultimate iBeetle demo, driving the car from the Detroit Auto Show to Comdex in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the beta test backfired, when Jobs tried to reboot the car while going 70 in Montana. “It has insanely great handling,” an unfazed Jobs said.
Rabid car and computer aficionados are expected to get on waiting lists for the car, which boasts the following features:
* AM/FM/cassette/CD-ROM player built-in
* Absolutely no Windows
* Power locks, password-protected glove box, Norton Antivirus and Windshield Bug Killer
* 233MHz HorsePowerPC engine, with 4GB hard drive-train
* Voice of Steve Jobs warns you if the door is ajar, you’re running out of gas, you have no style, and that he’s still considering becoming full-time CEO
* Choice of 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, but no floppy drive
Apple and VW are gearing up for the car’s unveiling with a series of ads showing a chimpanzee easily learning to drive the iBeetle while a smart-aleck MBA has trouble getting a Mercedes to start. The tagline: “Drivers wanted who think different (and have bad grammar).”

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