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Apple announces partnership with Ford, GM, Mazdaby Nick Aziz
Apple today announced it has teamed up with Ford, General Motors and Mazda to deliver seamless iPod integration across the majority of their brands and models, making it easy for iPod users to listen to and control their iPod through their car's stereo system. So-called "integration" is superior to a regular line-in or FM transmitter because it allows the driver to use the stereo controls on the steering wheel or dash to control the iPod (changing tracks, and so on). With the addition of these models, more than 70 percent of 2007-model U.S. automobiles will offer iPod integration. Notably, GM will make the technology available on all of its 56 vehicles.
"We're delighted that Ford, General Motors and Mazda will support iPod connectivity in nearly all of their new models," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing. "Now more than 70 percent of 2007-model U.S. automobiles will offer iPod integration, with General Motors alone making it available on all 56 of its models, representing millions of cars and trucks."
Ford and General Motors will feature iPod integration in the majority of their 2007 models in the U.S. beginning later this year, while Mazd's entire global 2007 lineup of cars and SUVs will offer iPod connectivity. iPod offerings for Ford, General Motors and Mazda provide drivers with outstanding sound quality while charging the iPod, while conveniently storing the iPod in the glove compartment. Seamless iPod integration also allows drivers to use their car's multifunction controls to select their music using artist, album, playlist or shuffle songs, as well as to easily skip between tracks and playlists.
GM's "Personal Audio Link" in detail
GM has also released specific details on its integration package. The device, called "Personal Audio Link," will sell at GM dealerships for less than $160 at MSRP, plus installation. It will be introduced in October on 2006 and 2007 model year Chevrolet HHRs, already one of the industry's most personalized vehicles, with more GM vehicles scheduled to be added by the end of this year. Designed specifically for the iPod, GM expects to make the device available on all of its 56 vehicle models - mostly by the end of 2007 - meaning GM will offer the widest range of vehicle applications for iPod integration in the industry.