Monday, April 22, 2013

Announcing the iBeetle

I'm not sure how to think about this - whether its a neat device (cool toy), and example of extreme convergence, or just great branding.

Apple and Volkswagen are collaborating on the creation of the iBeetle, a new model line that will debut at the Shanghai Auto Show this week.  Offered in both classic coupe and convertible models, the car will use a iOS-based interface and incorporate an iPhone docking station on the dashboard.

Once the iPhone is attached, drivers can access a special iBeetle application that bundles a number of specialized apps.  Among those announced are Spotify, Reader (text-to-voice for social media), Expert (taps into the car's diagnostics), Trainer (tracks driving times, distances, and gas mileage) and Postcard (sends location to selected contacts).
  The iBeetle will also use iPhone color schemes.  It's scheduled to go on sale in 2014.

This isn't Apple's first foray into auto operating systems.  Last year GM licensed Apple's Siri voice assistant system for the Chevrolet MyLink in-car information system.

Source - Apple, Volkswagen team on iOS-integrated iBeetle,  FierceMobileContent

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