Volkswagen and Apple 'iCar' Project On Hold?

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In August, a rumor circulated that Apple and Volkswagen were in early meetings to work on incorporating Apple products into Volkswagen compact cars. The most recent reports, coming from PressPortal.de indicate that the project is "shaky" but that Apple has been in talks with other car manufacturers.

Translation via Jalopnik:
The exploratory talks on a cooperation of the Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen Group with the US computer maker Apple advised for information of the business magazine 'Capital' (issue 26/2007, EVT 6 December) to a halt. In September, VW chairman Martin Winterkorn had confidential talks with Apple CEO Steve Jobs in California. Because of this, there was speculation of the development of a so-called "i-Car", a compact car equipped with Apple products. VW had confirmed the talks. "The project is shaky," said 'Capital'. Other car manufacturers have had talks with Apple talks on cooperation.
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Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,542
43
with Hamburglar.
It would make sense for Apple to partner with more than just one manufacturer. An integrated CarPod (40GB hard drive) with iTunes interface might get me to by the rest of the car too! :p
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
Here we go again. The Steve playing hardball. Seems to me this has not been to successful the last few times. Or is that just me?
It's just you. Apple's stock has never been higher, their market share is increasing and iPhones are flying off the shelves.

P-Worm
 

hdasmith

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2006
35
0
Newcastle upon Tyne
My Rabbit carries Apple products all the time. Y'all go sit down and shut up.
Why do they call the Golf the Rabbit over there?! I've never understood it, and in my mind Golf is a far better name. What I really want for my Golf is a radio which my iPhone can plug into with the same functionality as the iPod does, AND offer hands free calling. At the moment, I need two separate pieces of equipment to achieve this. Seems such a simple idea.
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,468
135
personally, i couldnt care less if apple did a branded car.

i would much rather prefer they stick to ipod and iphone connectivity to the car. and a smart car functionality much like microsoft's SYNC.

stick to the business you know apple
 

Jshwon

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
274
1
The "Rabbit" was the original car that the "Golf" platform was based off of. Kind of what started the small compact "fun" car for VW. I hope Apple partners with VW. They just seem like a perfect match. I can't see their products in say GM or Ford vehicles. Maybe Mercedes but that limits the market.
 

Chisholm

macrumors regular
May 31, 2002
241
11
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Why do they call the Golf the Rabbit over there?! I've never understood it, and in my mind Golf is a far better name. What I really want for my Golf is a radio which my iPhone can plug into with the same functionality as the iPod does, AND offer hands free calling. At the moment, I need two separate pieces of equipment to achieve this. Seems such a simple idea.
Well, it was called Golf until this model year. It seems that after years of marketing research they found that Americans aren't particularly fond of the sport. So they reached into their old "bag of tricks" (read: arse) and pulled out a Rabbit. Same car. We had and loved a 2000 Golf. Then a 2002 Jetta Wagon. I think its called something else in Italy, means idiot or child molester or something. Now a Rabbit. Again. Americans must like bunnies I guess.:rolleyes:
 

Orng

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2007
386
0
My first car was a used 1981 VW Rabbit convertible.
Lots of memories in that car. Learned a lot about basic auto mechanics and about having sex in awkward spaces. (nb. vinyl seats stick to bare skin)
 

Clive At Five

macrumors 65816
May 26, 2004
1,438
0
St. Paul, MN
Personally, I think the idea is stupid. Sure, sure, it'd be nice to have an Apple-designed dashboard console for your music (and movies for the spoiled kids in the backseat), but honestly... can Apple really revolutionize an entire car media system? Well, probably 'yes,' but still. How could you distribute it to the masses unless it's in the standard radio form-factor? You can't. This being the case, I would find it very difficult to believe Apple would sell a radio head-unit.

Three reasons who an Apple head-unit would fail:

A) Not easy to install.
B) Would probably omit radio, or something arrogantly stupid like that.
C) Overpriced, of course. Probably $399 or something.

Just my bitter two cents.

-Clive
 

grumpy

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2007
16
0
You know, it could simply be partnering as an industrial design shop, a la the Jaguar XF.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
LOL! It never ceases to amaze me how so many people bitter towards Apple get on this site? My goodness people... this is just rumor mill and we have no details... for all we know VW is being a pain, or the deal is fine and just going through negotiations, or ????? Does it matter?

I'm sure Apple is doing it's best to get tighter integration of the iPod with all the manufactures and we'll see more as things happen. I'm more concerned over what's going to be announced at MacWorld to drool over (and probably buy) for 2008.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
The instrument panels on all but the cheapest cars are pretty complex these days and there are many things to view and control like radios, satellite radios, iPod integrations, rear seat entertainment, CD, DVD, GPS navigation, cell phones, alarms, etc.

Add to that heating, air conditioning, recirculation/filters, interior and exterior lights, many wiper modes, back-up cameras, zone climate controls, cruise controls, switching in and out of all-wheel drive, etc.

Now, start adding all the controls and images associated with electric/hybrid vehicles now and maybe fuel cell stuff in the future.

BMW bravely went to the iDrive system that did allow eyes on the road control with a joystick that could be operated by touch and repetition once you memorized the sequences.

Many customers liked this, being interested in technology and all, but many did not and sales were lost and cars actually returned because it was just too complicated for some. Clearly a system like this would never work for mass market cars like Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM, etc.

So, there is a need for simple and intuitive controls that everyone can use and which allow drivers to actually look at the road occasionally.

Ford heavily advertises its Microsoft system capabilities. I wonder if there will be a duel between different car makers and whether they have Apple or MS systems.

I would think Apple would be far better off starting out with Mercedes or BMW and then trickle down from there. VW would be my very last choice as its reputation in the US, at least, is absolutely terrible. There is even talk of them leaving this market.

There was mention of Apple being arrogant in its dealings with VW. I think they would have a hard time matching VW in that regard.
 
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