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December 15, 2005

iPod my ride

Institute friend Peter Hesseldahl writes about iPod integration now influencing car buying:

Several people (no, not from Denmark) have told me how the integration of an ipod with the stereo system was a major factor when they choose their new, expensive car. Amazing how a $250 gadget can determine the purchase of product that's a hundred time more expensive.

Ɯbercool adds to the story:

Few carmakers realize it yet, but seamlessly integrating an Apple iPod with a new automobile is influencing a lot of car buyers.

In one sense it's amazing, as Peter says; but two bigger trends make it make more sensible.

First, plenty of car buyers expect to spend a lot of time in their cars. In major metropolitan areas in the U.S., drivers can spend a couple hours a week-- or, added all together, several days a year-- commuting to and from work (see below). Then add shopping, chauffering kids, etc., and you get a substantial amount of time.

(Source: U.S. Census press release)

This connects to the second trend. More people-- in particular, families in the U.S.-- treat cars not just as transportation devices, but as living rooms. It's where families catch up; sometimes where they eat; and increasingly cars are equipped with comfy chairs, DVD players, and other entertainment systems. So having your music with you-- or more specifically, being able to carry some functionality from your living room to the car-- shouldn't come as a surprise.

Or perhaps the connection comes from another source: cars = mobility; iPod = mobility; ergo, cars = iPod.

What'll really be amazing is if bicycle designers start playing around with iPod integration: adding little speakers on the handlebars, say.

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Posted by dymaxion at December 15, 2005 04:09 PM


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