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.
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.