According to German news magazine “Focus,” Apple is working on an in-car navigation system. Here’s what it says in the article:
After computers, MP3-players, and mobile phones, [Apple] will also offer navigation and stereo systems for cars shortly, starting with Mercedes.
According to information available to “Focus,” the device currently being developed by the US computer maker will combine entertainment, communications, and navigation in one unit.
The new Apple device will be offered exclusively by Mercedes for [the first] six months. Market introduction should be expected for 2009. It is still unclear whether Apple will — similarly to the iPhone — rely on Google Maps as navigation aid.
Although it may seem odd at first for Apple to get into the market of embedded devices, it does make sense product-wise: in essence, the iPhone already combines entertainment, communications, and navigation-like features in one unit. Just add a state-of-the-art GPS receiver and a radio, wrap in a sturdy, industrial-grade case, shake well, and serve!
However, all of the premium car makers already offer sophisticated, highly integrated in-car systems, including Mercedes’s COMAND system, so while it would make sense for Apple to build such a device based on their experience with the iPhone, it remains to be seen how this device would tie in with the car makers’ product offerings.