NEWS: Mercedes-Benz to Offer iPhone Cradle to European Customers

June 20, 2008
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Apple recently announced that the second-generation iPhone is forthcoming and that the devices will be sold in various new markets around the world. After almost a year of iPhone sales, a manufacturer has finally announced iPhone integration into its vehicles. (For Europeans, at least.)
Mercedes-Benz will offer an Apple iPhone cradle for its C-, E-, CLK-, CLS-, S-, CL-, SL-, M-, and R-class vehicles, as well as the upcoming GLK sport utility (for those keeping score, that's pretty much everything except the SLK-, G- and GL-classes). Once the phone is placed in a specially designed dock located in the center console, the driver can control it using the multi-function steering wheel. The system will allow phone integration, as well as access to music stored on the iPhone - just like with M-B's iPod kit. The cradle also supplies power to and charges the iPhone.
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Though the company touts the system as providing full iPhone integration, not all of the device's functions are available. For example, there doesn't appear to be a way to send or even read e-mail or text messages on the vehicle display. Still, this is a big step forward in iPhone integration as the current inelegant solution requires an iPod adapter as well as a Bluetooth connection to the vehicle's phone system.
The Mercedes-Benz Apple iPhone cradle will be available from Mercedes-Benz dealers and retails for €249, or about $385.

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