An Official BMW/Apple iPod Solution?

As reported previously on MotoringFile there seems to be a buzz in regards to Apple and BMW possibly working together on official iPod/Car Stereo integration of some kind. This solution would most likely be in addition to the already released Dension Ice-Link and the soon to be released Alpine unit. Now comes news from another source that this is indeed happening.

Recently Apple CEO Steve Jobs (along with Bill Gates and others) gave a presentation at the All Things Digital conference hosted by Walt Mossberg. While Mr. Jobs spoke about a number of news worthy items in the technology field he happen to mention one that has impact in the automotive world – possibly for BMW & MINI specifically. Here's an excerpt from the speech (AppleInsider):

Jobs alluded to a new product when he was setting context prior to announcing the Airport Express. He said people also want the iPod to work better in their car, and to expect some announcements later in the year. Jobs had an image on the screen of the inside of a BMW, with the BMW logo Photoshop'd out.

In a seemingly related bit of news here's a quote from a recent Autospies scoop regarding the next generation 3 series:

“Audio system will finally have a CD/MP3 capable playback and an interface connection to iPod-like devices… we're even hearing rumblings out of the Palo Alto Technology office regarding a potential deal in the works with Apple.”

As the electronics of the current MINI are based on the current 3 series – we can expect the next generation MINI's system to also be based on the next generation 3 series and current 1 series. Because of that it's a safe bet that any feature seen in the 1 series or the next generation 3 series will almost surely show up in the MINI as well.

Of course this is still all speculative at this point but it seems to make sense for all parties involved – especially for MINI owners with iPods!

  • Jim Schenck

    Apple & MINI belong together. Maybe following the release of Airport Extreme we'll have a version where you drive by a Wi-Fi hot spot and download iTunes directly to your iPod equipped MINI!

  • ChrisW

    Apple/MINI are a perfect combination; bold style, brilliant design, rabid fans. The Smart car has a factory iPod solution; the MINI needs one too!

  • BMW/MINI & Apple…I cannot think of a more perfect marriage of companies working together. An official BMW/MINI & Apple solution to integrate the iPod flawlessly with the MINI would be a dream come true…for many a MINI/iPod fan.

    I there is more fact here than fiction!

  • James White

    I hope they don't make it an Apple only interface though! It sounds pretty cool, but if it only works on iPods it's useless to a lot of people – including myself.

  • For all of you PC users, buy a Mac and you will see why we are so enthusiastic about their products. Once you go MAC you don't go back.

  • I've been thinking about an Ice-Link system… but if BMW and Apple are coming out with one, I might just wait 'til it arrives.

    In the meantime, guess I should go out and get my i-Pod mini and start uploading tunes to it from my i-Tunes library!

  • With a headunit that plays MP3s will the Demand for a MP3 player jack be as great? I know for one that I would no longer need the Ipod in my car.


  • For those with lots of music it makes much more sense than a MP3 cd. 40 gigs or more of music is still a lot of MP3 cds 🙂

  • James V

    I didnt go with the ICELink for afew reasons, one the current setup I have in my MINI is much nicer IMHO, the TuneDok cradle, Aux input and the Belkin auto adapter (carries line out + power). The only thing missing from my setup that ICE Link would provide is being able to control via the headunit but with the Tunedok I find controlling the iPod while driving to be just as easy and it looks really good (no wires everywhere and the cradle design is very apple). I dont have a MFSW so my way is better for my needs.

    What alot of people dont seem to be focusing on is this is apple we're talking about. I'd be very surprised if they just brought out a solution that was basically the same as current third party solutions. I have a feeling Apples solution would carry more than just track names and controls over but also offer a way to access the iPods browse and playlist features safely from the head unit.

    It makes sense, especially with some of the new iTunes features like the Party Playlist. Makes iTunes the perfect in-house (with airtunes) and in-car solution.


  • julie

    Think this iPod solution might have retrofit capabilities for those who already have a MINI?

  • Just to clarify – we don't have any hard evidence to support that BMW & Apple are working on a solution. There just seems to be some evidence that points in that direction.

  • It never even dawned on me that somone would actually have 40gigs of music . . All my music fits on 4 MP3 CDS or 1 MP3 DVD

  • andrew

    Don't count out Apple aquiring Dension. A few notable Apple products have come about by way of purchasing other companies. eg Mac OSX (built on technology from “NeXT”), Final Cut Pro (Apple hired away some of the original developers from Adobe Premiere), Shake (purchased software company “Nothing Real”)

  • Actually Jobs recently mentioned that Apple wasn't planning on any further acquisitions and wanted to grow the company organically in the years ahead. Of course that doesn't mean they won't hire away key developers 🙂

  • James V

    I doubt Apple would need to purchase Dension. They could produce (or have Belkin do it) an ICELink type setup pretty quickly, after all they dont need to reverse engineer anything, they created the iPod. I have a feeling they are looking to bring out a complete iPod/HeadUnit package not just a cable.

    An apple designed head-unit is something I've been praying to lord Jobs for since they announced the iPod 😀

    The fact that they may be working along side BMW though also hints at more of an integrated system not just a head-unit or cable. I guess time will tell.


  • It’s amazing how fast things have moved on this front, isn’t it. On 11th January 2005 Apple put out a number of press releases relating to Mercedes, BMW and pretty much every other major auto manufacturer. It seems that they are planning complete compatibility of this part of the market.


  • shashi

    my apple ipod is showing sad icon and not powering on