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Apple Goes Mobile With Ford, GM, And Mazda

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From the makers of the “people’s car” (Volkswagen) to the manufacturers of the car-for-people-with-a-whole-lot-of-money (Ferrari), automakers are prepared to accommodate iPod users. The Americans have gotten in on the deal, too – Ford and GM made an arrangement with Apple that was announced yesterday.

Mazda also worked out an agreement; now all three companies will be “making it easy for iPod users to enjoy and control their iPod’s high-quality sound through their car’s stereo system.” Aftermarket components that accomplished the same thing have been available (and very popular) for some time now, but this is a big win for Apple nonetheless.

In a press release, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing, spoke on the company’s behalf. “We’re delighted that Ford, General Motors and Mazda will support iPod connectivity in nearly all of their new models,” he said. “Now more than 70 percent of 2007-model US automobiles will offer iPod integration . . . .”

Ford’s iPod adapter will be known as “TripTunes Advanced.” GM will offer the “Personal Audio Link.” These systems may be considerably more expensive than many aftermarket offerings – a Chicago Tribune article stated that GM’s adapter will be sold for “less than $160, plus an installation fee.” Many buyers, unaware of or uninterested in aftermarket products (which vary widely in quality), will probably just stick with the manufacturer’s offerings.

This deal will probably result in a few more dollars for automakers, and in higher name recognition for the iPod. Apple has already saturated the market about as much as anything could, but Ford, at least could use some help. Last month, as noted in Marketplace, Toyota outsold Ford in the U.S. Toyota, it’s worth noting, offers a number of iPod-accommodating models.

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Apple Goes Mobile With Ford, GM, And Mazda
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