MWSF: iPod integration coming to Volvo, M-B, others

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On the heels of BMW and Mini Cooper, who announced integrated iPod solutions for their cars last year, Mercedes-Benz USA, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari have teamed up with Apple to offer the same in their upcoming models, the companies announced on Tuesday. While Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will make the details of their plans public later this year, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have already provided details.

Volvo will offer two iPod connectivity options for its 2005 U.S. car line: S60, S80 and V70/XC70 owners will be able to use the Volvo iPod Adapter to plug their iPods into a cable in the cars' glove compartments while S40, V50 and XC90 owners will have a dashboard-mounted FM transmitter similar to the third-party solutions already on the market. The former will allow users to control their iPods through their cars' stereos, including the steering wheel buttons, and both options will charge the iPod while in use. Volvo expects to launch its iPod program during the second quarter, at which time it will announce pricing; information is not available on the company's Web site yet.

Mercedes' US$299 iPod Integration Kit will first appear in April, along with the launch of its redesigned 2006 M-Class car, and will make its way to the company's other 2005 and 2006 models later in 2005. Like Volvo's iPod Adapter, Mercedes' solution will enable iPod owners to plug their MP3 players into a cable in the glove compartment -- it's compatible only with iPods that feature dock connectors. The car's in-dash display will show all the songs, artists and playlists on the iPod, allowing drivers to scroll through them with their steering wheel or stereo controls.

This story, "MWSF: iPod integration coming to Volvo, M-B, others" was originally published by PCWorld.

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