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Alpine Uses Pandora To Promote Head Unit

5/27/2010 03:03:14 PM Eastern

Parsippany,
N.J. - Alpine ads have begun appearing in Pandora's iPhone app to promote
Alpine's first Pandora-ready head unit, the iDA-X305S.

During
a dealer-training seminar here, product promotion manager Steve Brown said, consumers
who click on the ad will be taken via their iPhone to an Alpine mobile-Web site,
where consumers can get more details about the digital media receiver and find
nearby dealers who sell the single-DIN "mech-less" radio.

To
underscore the head unit's sales potential, he pointed out that 10 million
people have downloaded the Pandora app for the iPhone, and 25,000 more people
download it every day.

The
unit is priced at $349.

The controls
of the head unit emulate the controls of an iPhone's Pandora app, and the
product's 2.2-inch display shows Pandora-supplied album art and song metadata.
The head unit connects to the iPhone via included cable that plugs into the
iPhone's multi-pin connector, enabling the head unit to receive Pandora music
from the iPhone, send control signals to the iPhone's Pandora app, and charge
the phone.

Controlling
the Pandora app through the iDA-X305S's controls is more convenient and safer
than the alternative, which is to connect the iPhone to a head unit's 3.5mm
audio-input jack and use the iPhone's touchscreen to control the app while
driving, Brown said. The head unit will also help consumers comply with laws prohibiting
cellphone use while driving, he added. "In California, you can't touch a phone
[by law] while driving," he noted.

The
head unit also eliminates cable clutter because consumers don't have to use
both a 3.5mm audio cable and, if they want to keep the iPhone battery from
draining, a separate car charger.

To
control the Pandora app from the head unit, consumers must install a free
downloadable app, which is already available from Apple's iTune store.

The iDA-X305S features AM/FM tuner, 4x18-watt amp, USB input, and
inputs to connect a satellite-radio tuner, HD Radio tuner, and Imprint acoustical-tuning
processor.

Separately, Alpine lowered the prices on two mech-less double-DIN
head units launched in 2009. Neither is Pandora-ready, but both feature touchscreens.
One head unit is the iXA-W407 with 7-inch touchscreen. Its price was reduced to
$599 from $749. The other is the iXA-W404 with 4.3-inch touchscreen. Its price
was reduced to $299 from $499. They connect to optional outboard navigation drive,
backup cameras, DVD changers, HD Radio tuner and satellite-radio tuner. They
also feature USB input.

In its lineup, Alpine offers a total of four mech-less head
units, including the recently introduced single-DIN iDA-X303 priced at $199 with
no touchscreen.

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