More Car Makers To Bring On iPod

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San Francisco — Apple today announced that iPod integration will be offered in Mercedes-Benz USA, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari car stereo systems in 2005.

The iPod integration kit for Mercedes-Benz will debut this April in the United States with the newly redesigned 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and two iPod connectivity options will be offered for the entire Volvo 2005 U.S. model line, announced Apple here at Macworld. Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will announce details of their iPod integration solutions later this year. The integration solutions allow an iPod to play through the car’s stereo system and be controlled through the car’s standard radio controls. These companies join BMW and MINI Cooper, which began offering integrated iPod solutions in 2004.

“Almost every car company in the world is working to integrate iPod into their cars in 2005,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide product marketing. “iPod customers want to take their entire music collection with them everywhere they go.”

Apple has reportedly sold over 10 million iPods to date.

Apple said Mercedes-Benz will also offer iPod integration with almost all of its 2005 and 2006 car models later this year. Mercedes-Benz will be the first auto maker to allow users to search artist, album or playlist information with the steering wheel controls and through the radio/instrument cluster display, said Apple. The iPod kit will be available at a list price of $299 plus installation from authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers.

The Volvo iPod adapter will be available for S60, S80 and V70/XC70 models and will connect by simply plugging the iPod into a cable located in the car’s glove compartment, while S40, V50 and XC90 owners can use a dashboard-mounted FM transmitter. The Volvo iPod adapter allows users to control their music through their Volvo sound system and steering wheel controls, and both options charge the iPod when plugged in.

Additional details on model availability, features and pricing will be provided by Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari at the time of availability, said Apple.

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