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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: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By XZerg on 5/12/2010 6:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
As I mentioned previously in the Adobe vs Apple case, it is not in the best interest of Ford to not milk the owners of iPhones and iPods and iPads and iApple$hits. Add the damn chip, charge extra $1000 for it and voila you now have added more customer base interested in your vehicles and on top you make money. 85Million customers have these iApple$hits, even if you get 0.01% as in 8500 customers. Multiply that by $1000 for the extra chip and you have $8.5 million extra revenue.

Never a good business plan to ignore any bands of customers so long as you can make money off of them, especially those who are more than willing to splash $$$ brainlessly.

By Alexstarfire on 5/12/2010 7:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
Your numbers are way off, but other than that.... good try. Looking at the short run for everything will get you screwed in the end.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By ekv on 5/13/2010 1:25:01 AM , Rating: 4
it is not in the best interest of Ford to not milk the owners of iPhones
Wow, the double negative has me reeling 8)

If you're saying what I think you're saying, which is to say I think you're saying that Ford is saying to Apple ... oh crap, I forgot what I was going to say. Anyway, isn't it a nice day. Seen the latest (Andrew) Klaven on Culture?

Wait, I just remembered, Ford has an interesting little market going here and Apple stands to fall behind badly if they don't jump on the bandwagon. Badly. Google AND Microsoft?! Ford's with SYNC are selling quite well, thank you very much. And frankly, if Apple is going to be dumb enough to ignore bands of Ford customers -- and I've known a few Ford loyalists -- then tough on Apple.

Is SYNC in F-150's yet? If so, look out.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By Smilin on 5/13/2010 4:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
it might be, double check.

Last I looked into it you could have sync added to a range of existing vehicles for like $250 or so.

I was checking out some Mustangs at Carmax and the car I wanted didn't have it...I found it could be added.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By cfaalm on 5/13/2010 4:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
They could offer it as an option so all people without iStuff don't have to deal with the extra costs: iCertified = $ 500 or so. Let the iPeople pay for their own stuff. People with RTM, Android, Symbyan, W7mobile etc. please ignore, your phone is already compatible.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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