There’s an unconfirmed rumor floating around that Apple is working with Mercedes on a navigation system. The rumor comes from a German magazine called “Focus” which claims that starting in 2009, the new navigation system used in Mercedes will be designed by Apple.
Several websites are pointing out why this doesn’t really make sense, and perhaps Apple is just working with them on an iPhone integration port. Granted, the rumor is coming from a well-known magazine, but that doesn’t always mean that they have their facts straight. I’d like to think that they do, but you never know.
One site, Blackfriars, makes several points as to why this doesn’t really make sense for Apple to move in this direction. First of all, Mercedes has their own unique interface, and they don’t use standardized DIN sizes and connections for the accessories. Additionally, Mercedes has turned GPS into an integrated experience with GPS displaying both on dash, and as part of the speedometer. The volume for the radio or CD player also turns down when the GPS is giving voice instructions. Blackfiars points out that this would mean that Apple’s system would not be compatible with other manufacturers.
Going back to the magazine article, they say that the system from Apple would be a combination of entertainment, communication, and navigation in one unit. It would be offered exclusively by Mercedes for six months, and then other manufacturers would potentially be able to offer it as well.
Apple has shown and proved to us that they’re alright with moving away from the standard computer and experimenting with other devices like the iPod, and the iPhone. A partnership with Mercedes would probably provide them with a great start, and give them yet another new direction to head in. Hopefully this wasn’t supposed to be the big news that Steve Jobs was to announce at Macworld 2008!