There will be even fewer places left in the world to escape from Apple and its iPod after Ford, General Motors and Mazda announced they will integrating the music player in much of their 2007 US vehicle line-up. It’s not yet clear how many UK models this will effect.
GM and Mazda will be offering iPod compatibility in all new models, while Ford will offer it on cars produded from later this year under the Ford, Linoln and Mercury names. In total, this will account for a whopping 70% of all cars sold in the US next year.
The US car giants admitted they were jumping on the bandwagon, saying they were responding to predictions that iPods and other MP3 player sales will hit 132 million in 2009. In the Staes, iPod has a 75% share of the portable player market. Apple already has similar deals with about Acura, Audi, Honda, Nissan, and VW.
And with US brands suffering disastrous sales figures in their home market, it’s been seen by some analysts as an attempt to win back some market share - particularly among American youngsters who have been buying Japanese Scion and Acura models in their droves.
Ford has said the integration will be part of a dealer option called TripTunes Advanced, and will be an adapter that doubles as a battery-charging device . Users will be able to control their iPod through the steering wheel or conventional radio controls with playlists, artists, and other song information displayed on the dash..
Ford also plans to add auxiliary audio input jacks on nearly half of its lineup, starting this autumn, which means customers will ne able to use their MP3 players without the extra adapters or transmitters.