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Apple won't let Ford in its circle of trust until 2011, when it will grant Ford a special chip to put in its vehicles to let them talk to the iPhone.   (Source: Universal Studios/Dreamworks)

Those who don't want to wait for a year can simply buy a phone from market leaders Google (Android) or RIM (BlackBerry).  (Source: HTC)
Fortunately market leaders Google and RIM are much more open

We knew that Apple was really into a closed box approach when it came to the iPhone, but we didn't realize it was this closed.  At a Ford Fiesta press event, Ford engineers confirmed that the upcoming MyFord Touch -- the latest version of SYNC won't interface with the iPhone for a full year.

Apparently Research in Motion (makers of the Blackberry) and Google (makers of the Android OS) both embraced Ford's recently announced AppLink initiative, which allows smartphone apps to link to the car and be controlled by the same controls as the primary SYNC platform.

Working with engineers at RIM and Google, Ford has developed to separate APIs, which app developers can use to quickly get their apps working with MyTouch.  Ford engineers tell us that Pandora, the popular internet radio service, got their app fully Ford-ready in only 3 days on the Android platform.

So what about the iPhone, the third-place player in the U.S. market?  Well, support for the iPhone won't come for a full year more (till the 2012 model year).  When pressed for more info, Ford's engineers revealed to us that this was because Apple was requiring it to install special computer chips in-vehicle to let the MyTouch system know that it was dealing with "trusted apps".

Despite having fully working demos, Apple won't let Ford into its circle of trust until the vehicles get the special authentication chips.  

In our analysis piece on why the iPhone recently fell behind Android (unless  you follow Apple's logic and count the iPod Touch as a phone), we discussed that one key problem for Apple is its lack of openness when it comes to apps. 

It's disappointing that while Android and BlackBerry owners will get to be enjoying internet radio and more in their SYNC and MyFord Touch vehicles, Apple is leaving its customers in the dark for some time.  When it comes to AppLink there's not an app for that on the iPhone and there won't be one for some time, thanks to Apple's circle of trust.

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RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By amanojaku on 5/12/2010 6:22:04 PM , Rating: 5
William Ford: What of the Developers? If the Developers have obtained a complete technical reading of SYNC, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it.

Steve Jobs: The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.

Alan Mulally: Any attack made by the developers against SYNC would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. SYNC is now the ultimate power in the automotive industry. I suggest we use it.

Steve Jobs: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to voice command multiple devices is insignificant next to the power of the RDF.

Alan Mulally: Don't try to frighten us with your marketing ways, Lord Jobs. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up significant market share, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Developers' hidden code repository...

[Jobs makes a pinching motion and Mulally starts choking]

Steve Jobs: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

By rdawise on 5/13/2010 12:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
+9,999 for the Star Wars reference!

By ApfDaMan on 5/13/2010 1:13:24 AM , Rating: 2

By Revlemmon on 5/13/2010 2:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Man I would rate you up if I could.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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