While watching Apple introduce iOS in the Car during its WWDC keynote on Monday, we wondered how automakers, even the 14 who've already signed up to integrate this new in-car functionality of iOS 7, will feel about having the Cupertino company's mobile operating system supplant their own in-car systems. After all, some OEMs like Ford, General Motors and many luxury automakers have sunk millions of dollars into developing their own advanced infotainment, navigation and communication platforms like MyFord Touch, CUE and older systems like iDrive.

One automaker has now spoken up. A BMW spokeperson was interviewed by someone in the news department of British auto dealer group Arnold Clark and confirmed that the company would not be getting in line to integrate iOS in the Car anytime soon. The reason, as we suspected, is that BMW believes its own products developed over the last decade are both plenty good and already so deeply integrated with other systems of the car that, as told to Arnold Clark, "it would not be that straightforward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]."

While BMW isn't interested in spending more money to integrate Apple's services and functionality over its own, it has spent a good bit already to integrate iPhone functionality in its cars, including the relatively rare ability to support iPod Out and display Apple's own interface on Mini models with the optional Mini Connected feature, as well as committing to integrate Siri 'Eyes Free' functionality.

The BMW spokesperson also told Arnold Clark that the company would be surprised if such a system as Apple's became ubiquitous in the industry considering how much time and money automakers invest in their own media, navigation and communication solutions, but that such a system could become popular with those manufacturers who haven't made those same investments. While certainly possible, iOS in the Car, according to what we know at this point, will still rely on there being a 3G/4G-equipped iOS device present and connected to the car's system. Unless automakers want to give out free iPhones, or Apple begins licensing the user interface to automakers directly for use without an iOS device, iOS in the Car won't be an automaker's sole offering in this regard anytime soon.

UPDATE: BMW has contacted Autoblog to clarify its position. The company says it's in close contact with Apple and currently investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car, but since a final decision had not been made, it was not a part of Apple's announcement. Thus, according to BMW, integration of iOS in the Car in its cars has not been ruled out at all.


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  • 58 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car companies need to stop charging $2,000 for dated systems that can be outperformed by $200 phones and tablets. They should just allow you to bring your own device. If one company does it the rest will be forced to follow.
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      The BMW system is actually pretty good--although not as good as I think the iOS system can be. Chevy's implemtation looks most natural, mainly b/c with the one power button, it looks like an iDevice.
      Johan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I figured as much. Any company would be stupid not to at least look into adding this feature. It only costs a few dollars, and it when your competitor has it, you're going to feel left out. Although Audi wasn't on the list either :(
      RJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      ...it has spent a good bit already to integrate iPhone functionality in its cars, including the relatively rare ability to support iPod Out and display Apple's own interface on Mini models with the optional Mini Connected feature, as well as committing to integrate Siri 'Eyes Free' functionality. I was never aware BMW put that much effort into integrating various Apple products into their cars for their customers.
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      This seems to be a wise approach for a company like Mazda - too small to develop its own cutting edge infotainment system and decidedly behind the times with what is currently on offer. As long as there is a easy, free way to upgrade to later iterations of iOS.
      TRAILbrake
      • 1 Year Ago
      iOS in the Car would be really convenient for people who travel a lot for work, like me. Every time I get into a new rental car it takes some time for me to get familiar with each system: button layout, UI, etc. If I could just plug in my phone or connect through bluetooth and give Siri the command I would spend a lot less time idling in a parking lot putting fingerprints on a screen.
      stonehunte
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please keep Crapple out of my car, Thanks!
        Britt Benston
        • 1 Year Ago
        @stonehunte
        Never heard "Crapple." If they're crap then, versus what? Nothing is more reliable, virus-resistant or respected for intuitive user interfaces (or even customer satisfaction) than Apple electronic hardware and software. Or maybe you bought Apple stock in early November and that Apple is tasting sour about now.
      DeeCee
      • 1 Year Ago
      i hope it will be possible to remove that apple crap and install at least android :D
      Euphrentic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Automakers should beware of signing allegiance with such a closed ecosystem such as apples. They should be focused on digital egalitarianism more than ever before!
        Johan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Euphrentic
        Yeah like anyone is going to support Linux. Everything is proprietary unfortunately.
          Pj Taintz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Johan
          lol you do know that macOS is unix based as well right???
        piggybox
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Euphrentic
        I don't think anyone ever complained about how Ford's Sync system is a closed ecosystem under the control of Sony and Microsoft. People only complained when Sync systems freeze or crash.
      EvilTollMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      iOS isn't the ONLY mobile OS that is relevant. What if I have an android phone and the car I want to buy has iOS in it...I'm probably not gonna buy that car.
        Johan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EvilTollMan
        Android has HML. I don't see why head units can't support both.
        ngiotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EvilTollMan
        Considering Android has 75% market share, I'm not sure anyone is going to mistake iOS as being relevant. It used to be, don't get me wrong. I owned an iPhone years ago because it used to have no real competition. Now, the iPhone isn't what I'd consider a "flagship" phone. It's features are outdated, it's overpriced compared to the competition and forgive the sweeping generalization, the vast majority of the user base is mostly comprised of hipsters or the technologically inept.
          Gordon Chen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ngiotta
          Also, I want to add, 75% is misleading. You cannot group them all in the same. You have to break it down: how many of those are galaxys, how many are HTC Ones, Motorola Droid, HTC Droids, Samsung Droids, MOtorola razrs, Atrixes, etc. You have to develop for EACH of these phones individually despite they all share the same underpinnings. This is why iOS got into your car first.
          Gordon Chen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ngiotta
          Android is 100x harder to develop for due to fragmentation (which describes the fact there are hundreds of variations of android, whearas iOS only has one variation). Fragmentation makes things difficult whether you're developing for software, or in this case, hardware (cars)
          ngiotta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ngiotta
          @Gordon That's not true at all. These days, you can develop for all platforms in a single IDE-- no need to develop separately anymore. Supporting the different platforms subsequent to the release is where the manpower is needed. Also, the type of Android phone makes no difference. Android apps by and large are agnostic to the device they are installed on-- be they a $70 tablet or a $300 phone. I know this because I'm a software engineer and have actually aided in app development for all platforms (except BB).
          piggybox
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ngiotta
          While that 75% is true world wide, in US it's about half/half market share between Android/iPhone, probably because iPhone is still too expensive for developing countries.
        briznad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EvilTollMan
        For the foreseeable future no car will "[have] iOS in it". The car integration features of iOS7 (http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/features/#carintegration) simply allow a compatible vehicle to show the iOS car-specific interface on the car's display and possibly integrate with a steering wheel-mounted button to initiate Siri. This is all powered off a connected iPhone or possibly other iOS device. While I enjoy my iPhone I would be just as happy if auto makers announced the ability to supplant their native infotainment systems with an Android-powered option, and this would seem to make that more likely in the future. Anything is better than the frustrating systems provided by most car manufacturers. This all boils down to putting control in the hands of the consumer / vehicle owner rather than the manufacturer.
      Silentnoise713
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for BMW. Anyone jumping on iOS is really short sighted. It will come and go. What happens when the next big things comes along?...
        futuramautoblog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Silentnoise713
        Yeah, so one should simply wait till the next big thing..just to find out the next next big thing is coming. It's not short sighted. Manufacturers are smart offering/adopting the best tech out at present time. Then, when the next big thing comes along, you adopt again!
        Johan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Silentnoise713
        It's a feature in an OS. If Apple has auto manufacturers on board, they're not going to dump it. Besides, you can still use the screen to display the regular stuff without the phone. It doesn't all the sudden become obsolete.
        Kip
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Silentnoise713
        This is spot on. Mobile technology is changing too quickly. Today's cars last considerably longer than media devices, even ones as ubiquitous as Apple's.
          piggybox
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kip
          I agree new techs change rapidly, but on the other hand, in-car info/navi systems are hard to update thus can be easily outdated, absurdly expensive and redundant in many functions to smart phones.
      ccweems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Try paying $245 to upgrade your BMW maps which incidentally are already out of date, just better than the ones you have. Those who wailed at the initial deficiencies of Apple Maps would have been truly apoplectic at BMW maps.
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