BMW: We won't be changing the architecture of our cars for Apple (Update: OK, maybe)

A BMW spokesperson dissed Apple's iOS in the Car technology, implying that its own in-dash entertainment offering is superior. Then corporate threw it into reverse and went into damage-control mode.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on
BMW: We won't be changing the architecture of our cars for Apple - Jason O'Grady

When Eddy Cue announced iOS in the Car at WWDC this week he displayed a slide that showed the logos of 12 car manufacturers that were launching the technology first in their 2014 models. But one brand was noticeably absent: BMW.

iOS in the Car is an iPhone integration with automobiles that will be a feature of iOS 7 coming out in 2014. It will allow your vehicle's in-dash screen (typically used for navigation, entertainment, etc) to act as a secondary display for the iPhone, giving you access to Apple's iOS Maps app (and navigation) via an "eyes-free" integration with Siri. Cue mentioned that it will also work with Messages and third-party apps like Twitter and Wikipedia.

Cue's slide of participating car manufacturers (above) included the following logos:

  • Honda

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • Nissan

  • Ferrari

  • Chevrolet

  • Infinity

  • Kia

  • Hyundai

  • Volvo

  • Acura

  • Opel

  • Jaguar

BMW explained its absence from the iOS in the Car program to ArnoldClark.com, saying, "we have such an advanced multimedia offering that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straightforward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]."

The BMW spokesperson also told ArnoldClark.com that iOS integration with a car's dashboard is "not as simple as it sounds", so they believe iOS integration with BMW is unlikely to happen in the short or mid-term.

The statements are a curious about-face, considering that BMW issued a press release just five days earlier touting Siri integration with BMW's voice command controls and BMW iDrive.

BMW later back-pedalled from its remarks, telling AutoBlog that it is "currently investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car" and that a "final decision has not been made".

Is BMW's in-dash experience (below) so much superior to what iOS in the Car will offer? Clearly, it's too early to tell, but I think that BMW would be foolish to totally rule it out this early in the game.

Are you interested in better iOS integration with your vehicle? Would it influence your vehicle purchase decision?

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