Apple/BMW iPod Joint Venture Confirmed

MacMinute has managed to get a hold of the actual ad that will launch this new product. Here's an excerpt from the ad copy:

“The first seamless integration of iPod and automobile. Connect with your music like never before. With the installation of an integrated adapter developed by BMW and Apple — now available for the BMW 3 Series, X3 and Z4 — you can control your iPod through the existing audio system and multi-function steering wheel. Which means no loss of power. No loss of sound quality. And no loss of control.”


p>You can see the actual ad here and read the rest of the story here.

Update: We just received the actual part numbers for the Apple iPod connector for the MINI!

Part Number: 65 11 0 392 138 / Description: IPOD I/F ADAPTER MINI
Part Number: 65 11 0 392 139 / Description: IPOD I/F KIT MINI ADAPTER
Part Number: 65 11 0 393 656 / Description: IPOD I/F CABLE

According to our source “These parts are listed in MINI's internal ordering system. The entire kit will retail for $149 plus installation. Great news.


p>It's great to see this story confirmed as we've been reporting on the possibility for almost a month now!

Update 2: Gadget weblog Gizmodo has some further scoop on the Apple and BMW joint venture to integrate the iPod into the sound system of late model BMWs and presumable MINIs. They are reporting (via an internal source) that only 2002 or later BMWs and only cars with the standard or stock cd players will be able to take advantage of this product. That means a “car with optional built-in Navigation system, cassette deck, satellite radio, or CD change won't be able to use it.” It's assumed that these requirements also affect the MINI as well.

They go on to say that installation charges are bring quote at around $235. This, assuredly, is without the actual hardware. Here are some further excerpts from the article:

The iPod slips inside a dock in the glove box and controls are on the steering wheel, and they look to be pretty basic, with only an track up/track down selection and what looks to be a mute button. BMW asks that you create five selectable BMW-specific playlists (probably something like the ones I made in my iTunes picture to the right) on your iPod which are controlled by the 1 through 5 button on the dash, while selecting 6 will play through your entire iPod library. This implies you won't have as much control over your iPod as you would with its native interface. If that's the case, that will be a serious ding against the usefulness of the kit.

If this account is correct this device would be a fairly short sighted implementation of iPod integration. Honestly I'd rather have my ICE-Link or the soon to be released Alpine unit that allows the iPod to be accessed and navigated rather than stowed in the glove box. With 40 gigs of music and 25-30 playlists I can't imagine using my iPod in the way referred to above. It perhaps would work for someone with only 5-10 gigs of music but I would assume they wouldn't be the ones shelling out the big bucks for this kit anway. I think the ideal solution, and perhaps the one everyone was waiting for, would be something that replicates the iPod interface within the controls of the stereo or the steering wheel itself. That being said, I suppose it's probably best to withhold judgment until we get these things in our hands.

  • A big thanks to Perre for the heads up!

  • ChrisW

    Yes! No more adapter cable messes! Please, please let this come to MINI as well. I'm currently using a lame cassette adapter for my iPod in my Passat but would love a factory solution for my upcoming MINI.

  • Jim

    I hope the adapter will connect to the classic iPods and I wonder how the price will compare to the Ice-Link?

  • ChrisW

    Looks like MacMinute pulled the story. When Apple Legal gets involved, that's all the confirmation needed. 🙂

  • R

    Anybody going to the WWDC2004 in Frisco?


  • Al

    Re: WWDC2004… Would love to, but the company won't fund it since it doesn't directly tie in with what we do at work. (There's no Mac development, although I write all my code using a Powerbook.)

    Plan to go next year, though, with or without company reimbursement.

  • I just hope it is a better 'intergration' than the bluetooth system for cell phones…

  • This makes me happy I didn't spring for the AUX adapter, or the ICE-Link. Sometimes patience pays off :). My trusty iTrip will just have to remain in service inside the MINI for a few more months…

    When this broke, you kind of had to expect this solution would come to the MINI. Not that BMW owners aren't iPod/Apple freaks, but with the younger demographic that the MINI is aimed at, an iPod/MINI marriage seems to make more sense than a iPod/BMW marriage since traditionally BMW's are aimed at a slightly older demographic. But that is just traditional views of the MINI/BMW demographics, I'm sure there are a lot of both who own iPods… Either way, this is a good thing!!!

  • Alex SM

    Doesn't the 3-series BMW share the audio setup with the MINI?

  • Not to take this off topic but believe it or not last year the average age of a MINI buyer was 45… the average age of a BMW owner was 42.

  • Yes, the architecture is exactly the same.

  • pud

    Do you think that it will be a sort of aftermarket options that you will be able to put in a 02-04 cooper? asuming that this actually happens.


  • andrew

    my dealer says that he was able to pull up these part numbers in the BMW database and it has no price, none in any warehouses, and none on order.

    thanks for the info gabe, keep us updated! I can't wait to get this as my ice-link keeps breaking.

  • Great news! I hope it's retrofit-able to older MINIs and I hope it works with the older iPods as well.

    I guess we'll see. Would be nice to not have to mess with ice-link if there is a MINI/Apple solution available.

  • BTW a big thanks to “foolsdragon' for the part numbers!

  • When I read the complete story regarding the new I-pod system for BMW I just thought how neat it would be when they add this to the MINI Open. I love the fact that I can control the sound system from my steering wheel on my MINI. YeeeeeHaaaaawwww,from Atlanta,GA.

  • nfo

    re: Great news! I hope it's retrofit-able to older MINIs and I hope it works with the older iPods as well.

    i kinda doubt it will work with anything but the 3G iPod's… this is very good news regardless! 🙂

  • 🙂

    Hurray! It's about time BMW and Apple team up.

  • Josh

    The story's still there on MacMinute, it hasn't been pulled.

    Now, how can you be sure the adapter is referring to a “Mini” car? Maybe it's an adapter for an IPOD MINI!

    (After all, the ad does specifically list only the BMW 3 Series, X3 and Z4.)

  • Patrick

    It would likely be listed as “IPOD MINI” in this case with the other details coming after. but as they put MINI at the very end of the description, its more likely to be the car, not they player thats MINI. we'd have to see the way that they list the other parts to know for sure…

  • Philip

    Well, well, I'm curious to see what this adapter kit actually is. Maybe it's just the ICE-Link re-branded?

    With regards to Mini (car) compability I think this shouldn't be an issue as the Mini shares exactly the same electronics with the 3 Series – only the front end design is different.

  • R

    Still waiting on my ICE-Link… I wonder if it will be compatible with my '02. I'm sure it will be more $'s than the ICE-Link.

    Gabe, Interesting the age thing…I'm 58.


    Speaking of electronics I was thinking of buying one of GBMINI's auto up window things but I wondered if it may cause trouble with my warranty? Anybody?…R

  • R – I'm about to install mine as well. My plan is to just take it out if there's ever any issues that would make them investigate that area.

  • R

    Gabe, how about a report on how the install went and what you thought about how it actually works?…R

  • foolsdragon

    The parts are listed in BMW's parts system as being for the MINI, not as BMW parts. There are other part numbers listed for BMW.

  • squishy

    the description as reported by gizmodo leaves a lot to be desired. controls on the wheel would be nice. but it will only be worthwhile if it is integrated with the display and gives you full navigational access.

    i think i'll stick with my set-up of an auxilary input, a belkin charger hidden behind the dash, and a belkin holder that lives in the near cup-holder. one small mod to the holder to affix the belkin connector and it works like a dock where i can just drop it in and have it connect. using it is simple as it is only inches below the radio.

    i was hoping for more from such a highly-touted integration.

  • R

    Steven- Never could get my itrip to work…Had more luck with the clincky irock…tossed 'em both…R

  • Patrick

    Its kind of hard to believe that Apple would sign off on a product like that, if that is in fact a valid account of its functionality and setup…

  • I've registered long ago with Alpine to receive news about their upcoming headunit. But never heard anything.

    Are there any more news or details out there other than that they will come up with something??

  • don't you think the MINI in the description of that one part could have meant MINI iPod and not MINI Cooper?

  • andrew

    andrew. the ipod mini and the 3rd generation ipod use the same interface and are controlled exactly the same way. the electronics connecting the two to the stereo would not be different. the ice-link works with both. there would be no reason for BMW to sell a different part for the ipod mini. i am still hoping that they come out with some joint ipod mini / MINI marketing campaign where i can get an indi blue or anthracite ipod mini to match my car.

  • foolsdragon


    BMW's parts system (part of DCS and the overall vehicle management system) lists parts as being either for BMW or for MINI. The part numbers I listed above ARE FOR MINI, not for the mini ipod. Besides, as the Andrew above this post so ably describes, it doesn't matter anyway, since the connector is the same.

  • Erik

    Will this work with the Harman.Kardon version?

  • Tom

    What BMWs dose this ipod really work on and what years.

  • Tom – '02 and newer cars without iDrive. You can find out more here.