German auto manufacturing giant Volkswagen has teamed up with Apple to design a car aptly entitled the ‘iBeetle’, but those of you hoping this to be the genuine, all-singing, Steve Jobs-endorsed iCar will be sorely disappointed. The renowned automobile engineer has joined forces with the Cupertino tech firm to create a “genuine integrative interface” for the iPhone, allowing both car and handset to harmoniously link together in what the Wolfsburg-based firm describes as Volkswagen Car Net The Beetle.
The biography of Steve Jobs, which was written by Walter Isaacson, detailed the Apple co-founder’s Eureka moment when he realized he had “cracked” three key markets of innovation. These were said to have been the photography, education, and connected TV markets, but the area many feel Jobs most wished to revolutionize was that of the automotive.
The “iCar,” like many yet-to-be-seen ideas pinned to the fruit company, has always lingered as more of a pipedream than a product that would be making its way to market anytime soon. With that said, when I first caught wind of this story, I did, momentarily, believe the iBeetle was a tad more iCar than it is in actuality.
As it transpires, this dual effort takes the form of dedicated docking station placed on the car’s dashboard, which is hardly what you would call groundbreaking. As well as the dock, the car itself can be had in a plethora of colors “stylistically linked” with Apple, but aside from a specialized app featuring, among other things, Spotify integration and fuel economy info, the iBeetle is unfortunately not a great deal different from a standard Beetle.
I mean, if anything, it’s a bit of collaborative marketing from these two very weighty brands. The iBeetle is little more than a normal VW hatch with an Apple dock and alternative lick of paint on. Also, since this model is launching in 2014 but tailored for the iPhone 5, one would hope the design of the next Apple smartphone isn’t radical enough so as to render this featurette redundant from the get-go.
With Siri Eyes Free hitting a bunch of production cars, such as the Chevrolet Sonic, and Eddy Cue’s Ferrari directorship also apparently bringing Apple integration to the Italian supercar maker in the form of an iPad mini equipped LaFerrari, it looks as though our iPhones will, in future, become as much a feature for the car as they are the hand or the pocket.