Mercedes Joins the iPhone Party

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Following on the heels of competitor BMW’s optional iPod dock, Steve Jobs’ preferred German automaker Mercedes Benz announced a custom cradle for the iPhone available as an option on nine classes of its vehicles. The interface will allow seamless integration between the iPhone’s music and telephone functions and the vehicle’s systems, Mercedes says.

Placed in the Mercedes’ onboard cradle, the iPhone’s music and phone functions can be controlled with the help of multifunction steering wheel controls, while the vehicle’s display indicates phone status, music functions, etc. The cradle features automatic recharging as well as increased reception with the help of the vehicle’s antenna.

More pics after the jump.mb-iphone-cradle-1.jpg

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  • jeff

    Mercedes has had ipod integration for years (truth is that it kinda sucks). If you reread your own post you will notice that this is the iPhone cradle, which is different from BMW’s iPod integration (and Mercedes as well). Controlling the iPod features via the steering wheel controls is not a big deal, uploading the phone’s address book to the car is a nice thing to have, although my iphone already does this via the bluetooth handsfree in my 2007 mercedes. I have read several of these stories and I can’t figure out what is new about this other than the cradle… the bluetooth interface in the car already deals with the iphone and the ipod integration kit already does that. I’d be hard pressed to spend another $300 just to get a custom charging cradle.

  • mmnw

    In reply to jeff:

    If you read the details more careful, you will see the differences to the iPod solution. Also they are more technical and probably won’t matter in most cases. I see it just as a more elegant solution in comparison to the old iPod dock. I guess it’s a good consideration when buying a new car or if you don’t have an iPod dock.
    The biggest advantage I see is the integration of the iPhone into the vehicle aerial which will certainly increase signal reception. Probably won’t matter in urban areas, but when going a 200 km/h on a german autobahn, you will appreciate the better signal.

  • Nicholas Orr

    I currently have a HTC TyTN II and it’s been difficult getting bluetooth integration going. AU is finally getting the iPhone in the form of the 3G version. It would be great if this kit would fit my E240…

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  • Jonathan Rowson

    Wow, looks nice, but my wife’s Honda minivan already does this, albeit without two important features. No cradle to integrate with the vehicle’s antenna and hopefully strengthen the iPhone’s cell signal, and wait, that’s it. Additionally, my Buick allows me to route my iPhone’s GPS (I’m using Navigon) through the stereo and automatically lowers the music volume to announce a turn. Sort of like what OnStar does, but without the extra cost. But, in that case the biggest caveat is that you MUST be listening to some form of audio through your iPhone, it doesn’t work with standard audio (CD/Satellite radio or DVD Audio). Last, but not least, the prime difference is that my experiences with similar features are on Buick and Honda, NOT Mercedes or BMW, so take that as you will…

  • cpa outsourcing

    If you study information more cautious, you will see the variations to the iPod option. Also they are more complex and probably won’t issue in most situations. I see it just as a more stylish option in assessment to the old iPod connect. I think it’s a excellent factor when selecting a new car or if you don’t have an iPod connect.

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  • nationwide autoloanfinancing

    The biggest advantage I see is the integration of the iPhone into the
    vehicle aerial which will certainly increase signal reception. Probably
    won’t matter in urban areas, but when going a 200 km/h on a german
    autobahn, you will appreciate the better signal. 

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About the author

Lonnie Lazar

Lonnie Lazar is a writer-musician-web designer-attorney. He writes about Apple for Cult of Mac and Mac|Life, and about VoIP and telecommunications for Voxilla. Follow Lonnie on Twitter @LonnieLazar, join the Cult of Mac on Facebook, and find Lonnie's photos on Flickr.

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