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Apple, Volkswagen talks on hold?

updated 09:15 am EST, Thu December 6, 2007

Apple, VW talks on hold?

Negotiations between Apple and Volkswagen are at a halt, a German business publication suggests. The companies' respective CEOs, Steve Jobs and Martin Winterkorn, are said to have met in August to discuss the prospect of an "iCar," which would integrate Apple products directly into the design; now however, Capital magazine claims that although Volkswagen later confirmed exploratory talks, these have suddenly stopped. "The project is shaky," say the magazine's business sources.

Also suggested is that Apple has started negotiating with other car manufacturers, a tactic which may be designed to put pressure on VW to accept its terms. Apple has long been rumored to pit companies against each other for its own benefit. One of the most recent examples of this is the iPhone and British carrier O2; while O2 eventually won the contract, The Guardian wrote that Apple had threatened to share iPhone distribution with Orange, a move which would have seriously harmed O2's profits.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. hybrid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Touch screens in cars

    Serious work needs to be done on creating appropriate user interfaces for automotive applications. Touch screens are cool and slick, but you can't use them without looking at them, their performance in cold weather isn't optimal, and using them with gloves on is tricky.

    A simple array of k****, buttons and sliders have worked well for decades, and can be made very user-friendly.

    Controlling every aspect of the car's functionality through a single interface with nested screens isn't the best way to keep the driver's attention where it should be... on the road.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Also

    Nobody will ever make an MP3 player with a decent interface. Or a phone with a really good interface and software.

    ... oh, wait. That's kind of what Apple does.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with you. I'm just saying that if anybody is going to make a touchscreen interface that really works in a car, it's going to be Apple. I'm just wondering when people are going to learn that they can't use past examples of technology to assume what Apple might do. In case you haven't noticed over the past decade or so, it's become fairly obvious that what Steve Jobs does best is take something that in its current form is flawed or maybe just not good or refined enough, and he makes a new one that's entirely better.

    He's done it with operating systems, computer hardware, MP3 players, mobile phones, and he'll do it with this. It's just what he does.

  1. x user

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Actually.

    Actually, the whole OS thing was woz...

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    er

    OS X was Woz? That's funny, because I distinctly remember it being based on NeXT, which Jobs created. Also, Woz was a hardware guy not a software guy, and he left Apple in 1981 and had nothing to do with the Mac OS.

  1. Pennywigeon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    k****?

    "A simple array of k****, buttons and sliders have worked well for decades, and can be made very user-friendly."

    Cars used to have a hand crank also. Most radio's in cars nowadays don't have any k**** but have buttons instead which get dust in them making them difficult to use or inoperable, they also are hard to use when wearing gloves.

    But since most cars come with heaters in them the cold weather and glove usage is probably only needed or those in extreme cold climates. Climates where a VW would not be well used. Where a 4 weel drive would be more appropriate.

    The "Key" has also been a staple of the car/truck for a very long time but now we are seeing the "key" become just a thing of history.

    Having a phone built into a car (hands free) is less distracting than holding one to one's head making it easier for the driver to focus more on the road. Having a built in iPod instead of one that uses a FM modulator is also less distracting for the driver. GPS is yet another popular device that is often touch screen and is distracting.

    SOme like innovation. Others still dream of the hay-days when Radio was king, Television didn't exist, Vinyl was the music media choice, and gas cost less than a quarter.

    But sometimes you have to let go of the past and embrace new ways to do things or you become stagnant in your thinking. Some dream of new technologies and some still wash their clothes with a wash board.

    I think a device that is a glass touch screen, MP3 player, GPS device, Hand Free Car Phone, and central control area for climate settings and radio is a step towards a safer environment for the driver and a safer environment for all the other drivers on the road.

    Each to their own I guess....

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    HUD and eye tracking

    We need to see a real HUD with eye tracking to control all this stuff. I know some companies are starting with some of this for simple things.

  1. Toyin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What???

    "But since most cars come with heaters in them the cold weather and glove usage is probably only needed or those in extreme cold climates. Climates where a VW would not be well used. Where a 4 weel drive would be more appropriate. "

    Where have you been? You know that VW owns Audi? You know like Quattro (arguably the best performance 4wd system) or the Haldex based system in the Golf R32. Ever heard of the VW Toureg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne?

    I'm not sure that k**** and levers are necessarily the way to go, but if we plan on using our hands to control these systems, then tactile feedback is a must. I've got an iPhone, and it's frightening to use in the car. On my Treo, I could dial favorites by hitting one key.

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