Many Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans were surprised to notice that German luxury automaker BMW was not among the list of twelve automakers that will be supporting the “iOS in the Car” functionality that was recently announced by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference. After all, BMW recently announced that it will be incorporating Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode into all of its 2014 car models. BMW also has a longstanding tradition of integrating Apple technologies into its vehicles, including the very first in-car integration of an Apple iPod in 2004.
However, it appears that iOS in the Car may not be practical for a carmaker that has already invested considerable time and resources into developing its own advanced in-car multimedia systems. Via ArnoldClark.com, a BMW spokesperson stated, “The upshot is that as 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].”
On the other hand, there seems to be few technical obstacles to incorporating Apple’s operating system into BMW’s vehicles. When ArnoldClark.com asked a BMW spokesperson if iOS in the Car might conflict with BMW’s current operating software, the spokesperson stated that “it’s likely that the iDrive as an HMI (Human Machine Interface) control can be optimized to function with any operating software.”
Interestingly, the BMW spokesperson also commented that they thought it was unlikely that Apple’s iOS in the Car would become an industry-wide system. BMW’s spokesperson noted that, “vehicle OEMs pre-invest many years ahead of development” so unless a car company has no system of its own, it is unlikely to lose this investment by substituting its own system with Apple’s iOS.
However, BMW is not ruling out any future possibilities. AutoBlog reports that BMW is “in close contact with Apple and currently investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car, but since a final decision had not been made, it was not a part of Apple’s announcement. Thus, according to BMW, integration of iOS in the Car in its cars has not been ruled out at all.”
As reported by Apple Insider; Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda (NYSE:HMC), Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, and Volvo have all announced iOS in the Car support for their vehicles. Here’s how Apple has traded so far this week.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)