back to article iPhone too heavy? Volkswagen brings out motorised ride-on dock

Apple and Volkswagen have joined forces to produce a new version of the iconic Beetle enhanced with all sort of Cupertino-inspired bells and whistles. Teams from both firms worked together on the iBeetle, which looks pretty much like the car which used to be produced without a lower case 'i' inserted in front of its name. It …

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  1. TechnicianJack

    Maps

    We can expect lots of iBeetle drivers to get lost while using Apple maps then.

    1. LarsG
      Facepalm

      Re: Maps

      Who in their right mind needs a dedicated Apple dock in their car?

      I thought that was what Bluetooth was for.

      It will probably be cheaper to go out and buy a phone cradle than add the dock to your list of options.

      At £300 as an extra option would you buy it?

      Then change to an android phone a few month later?

      The world has gone mad, mad mad mad mad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Comes in two colours,

      Black and White.....

  2. countd
    Facepalm

    Duh

    How daft will you feel when you can no longer connect your new phone to your four year old "iBeetle" (Jesus wept) due to another change in connector by these grasping shits? This is a car for morons, by morons.

    1. TechnicianJack

      Re: Duh

      Maybe the iPhone dock will be a removable/replaceable component? Probably not, seeing as it's an Apple iCar. They'll just expect you to buy the new one when the next iPhone comes out. People will still queue to get it though.

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Duh

      countd, do you really expect these people driving their iBeetles for four years without terminally crashing?

      1. TechnicianJack

        Re: Duh

        Something else I just thought of is re-saleability. If you don't have an iPhone, how many of the car's features will you not be able to use?

        If this car was to be sold on to another owner, would they have to sell an iPhone with it? Or in several years time would a new owner have to have two phones? An old iPhone to get the car stuff to work, and a new phone to take with them?

        Assuming the life span of the average car is about 20 - 30 years before it is no longer roadworthy/scrapped, will people want to have a car that needs a 20 - 30 year old phone to work?

    3. podperson

      Re: Duh

      The iPod 30-pin connector dates back to the third generation iPod of 2003, which would mean Apple changed its connector after NINE years. And they also ship a tiny adapter which would, if Apple's behavior repeats itself, allow iBeetle users to adapt when Apple changes its connector in 2021.

    4. Velv Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Duh

      You're making the assumption they'd keep the car for four years.

      If you're fashion conscious enough to change your iPhone every year, you're fashion conscious enough to change your iBeetle every year.

    5. Ron Christian

      Re: Duh

      ESPECIALLY since it's an inescapable part of the i-culture that users must swap phones every time an incremental improvement is shat out, or run the risk of not being hip. So what do users do the first time an i-phone comes out that won't fit in their i-car? Replace the car? Wow, if VW can get away with that, they'd be set for life.

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Who's your daddy?

    It is not meant to be your master.

    Paul Waters, but you did hear of Apple before, didn't you?

  4. James 36

    blah

    Apple and VW just f**k off, go on , just f**k off

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: blah

      And how should we fuck off, oh Lord?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uMJYQ9LKGQ

      (and don't put the speakers on if you're in the office)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    waits for the first accident caused by...

    an iOS update that won't let the user do anything until it completes....at 70mph in the outside lane :-)

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: waits for the first accident caused by...

      not Apple's fault, you were holding the steering wheel wrong.

  6. g e
    Holmes

    What a pity...

    All that effort just as people are getting bored of apple products

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a pity...

      Is it just me, or has the fad for producing products like this *specifically* designed around the iPhone (or at least prominently featuring iPhone-only docks) died down recently, with the increase in popularity of Android devices?

      Good thing, too. They always truck me as.... just naff, basically. Something about building them to work only with the single device-du-jour, probably to be rendered obsolete when Apple released a new version just made it obvious that they were cheesy boys' toys one couldn't take seriously.

      Even if the device worked using other supplied interfaces or connectors, the empty, unused dock in a position of prominence screamed "If I'm not dated now, I'll be dated in 18 months time!"

      Seems ironic that VW released the ultimate obsolete-before-its-time Apple device at this point in time. 2010 called, they want their tacky iPod docks back.

      Nothing against devices that work with the iPhone, I just don't want them to be *specifically* designed round that- nor any other phone or OS that's going to be obsolete by the time the phone's contract comes to an end.

  7. Silverburn
    Happy

    Recalls

    Given Apple's penchant for offloading blame for defects (and the resulting $bn's of cost) on it's suppliers, VW better watch out.

    Not to worry - it's a VW, so the driver will at least be familiar with the recall process and has probably memorised the trip to the dealers already - probably for the oil consumption.

  8. FartingHippo
    Stop

    iBeetle?

    iBoughtThisCarTenYearsAgoAndNowItsFullOfOutdatedUselessShit

    1. Silverburn

      Re: iBeetle?

      Given the fashionista nature of the prospective buyers, they won't have one of these longer than 3 years, so they won't care.

  9. Lamont Cranston
    Unhappy

    Good grief.

    I don't normally get car sick, but now have a great urge to throw up.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Good grief.

      Yes, hard to understand, what did Apple pay, and why will Volkswagen go with Apple. Very odd as Volkswagen is the number one in Europe, why not go with a more open solution like Linux. No Volkswagen for me definitely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Good grief.

      Words.

      Mouth.

      Taken.

      Out.

      Of...

      +1

  10. Droolster
    WTF?

    April fools day way weeks ago.

    Milestone stickers unlocked for completing tasks? Can I download in-car purchases to make it do faster?

    1. TechnicianJack
      Trollface

      Re: April fools day way weeks ago.

      Task 1,

      Purchase the iBeetle without the sales team secretly laughing at you.

      Objective failed.

      1. Gav
        Mushroom

        Re: April fools day way weeks ago.

        Woohoo! I can see the automated Facebook statuses now!

        Apple Fanboi ... has spent 45 minutes in a jam at the same set of traffic lights and unlocked "Who phased these b******ds?" achievement. Sent from my iBeetle.

        Apple Fanboi ... has just parked across two disabled parking bays and won the "Handicap by crippling stupidity and selfishness" achievement. Sent from my iBeetle.

        Apple Fanboi .. has just died in a fiery ball of flame by not paying attention to the ro@d and unloc+ed the "Game Over" ac4ievement. Se^t fr&$ m@ !i} ..... .. .

  11. DAN*tastik
    WTF?

    Does it have cameras pointing outward to automatically take pictures of the best hipsters it spots on the streets, and Instagram them using your favourite filter?

    Can it tweet your order to your favourite barista while it drives itself to the closest and trendiest Starbucks?

    Will it self combust if driven out of Shoreditch?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Does it have cameras pointing outward[....]"

      Remember, this is typical Web2.0, so it must be about that all-important subject, "ME!"

      So, the iCameras MUST have the iOwner in the iPicture, so all his iFriends can iSee what the iOwner is iDoing!

      1. DAN*tastik

        Re: "Does it have cameras pointing outward[....]"

        iSee... Good point :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Is it going to cost 3 times as much as other beetles?

  13. Fred M

    Hipster detection complete

    My hipster twat detector used to require both a Vespa and a helmet with Momo Designs written on it. Now it just needs an iBeetle. (I wonder what team of geniuses spent hours in a design workshop to come up with that name.)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Kia C'eed has a bloody connector for an ipod and has for years

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Was it reasonably priced?

      That is whay I always think of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Kia AC

      You have owned your car for years and you still don't know what it is called?

  15. BornToWin

    This is just stupid

    As if Apple fanbois aren't already braindead, now they need more distractions while they attempt to operate a motorized vehicle? I can see the lawyers lining up now...and they should. This is just irresponsible marketing and mayhem looking for a place to crash.

    1. Visual Echo

      Re: This is just stupid

      As an owner installed option, we shouldn't have any trouble suing them if they cause an accident. Texting while driving is illegal over here in some of the states, I'd guess just having it plugged in while moving would qualify for a citation.

  16. Admiral Grace Hopper

    If we are to have a similar link-up between Samsung and Ford can we get the name re-spelled as 'Galaxie' rather than 'Galaxy' please? I'm happy to use the phone of that name, but not the motor vehicle.

  17. ecofeco Silver badge
    WTF?

    Dear god

    Why?

    First they make it ugly and now they make it stupid.

    1. Darryl

      Re: Dear god

      Sorry, you're going to have to be more specific about which item you're referring to

  18. GitMeMyShootinIrons
    Coat

    Oh dear.

    I'm indifferent about Apple kit. If it works, that's fine.

    Reducing a car to a glorified mobile phone trinket? I don't care which vendor it is, this is bad in so many ways.

    Excuse me, mine's the one with a full sickbag in the left pocket.

  19. Irongut

    Granny Smasher awarded!

    you have killed 50 grannys

  20. Weeble

    Prior Art

    Didn't George Lucas already think of this one?

    X-Wing = R2 Dock

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior Art

      As I understand it, R2 and the whole "Astromech" was inspired by the SR-71's astronavigation module.

  21. JDX Gold badge

    In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in...

    black or white, surely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in...

      If they offer it in black-and-white, then it will be funny watching all the iHipsters being confused with GeekSquad members.

    2. Darryl

      Re: In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in...

      The white one will be delayed by a year while Apple refuses to approve the specific 'shades' of white available

    3. Bush_rat
      Facepalm

      Re: In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in...

      "In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in “Candy White”, “Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect”, “Black Monochrome”, “Deep Black Pearl Effect”, “Platinum Grey”, or “Reflex Silver”."

      So yeah, black or white.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Re: In a nod to the iPhone’s color scheme, the new iBeetle can be ordered in...

        What???

        No Heliotrope???

        Bugger....Had cheque book on standby...

        Oh well...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Almost hits the trifecta

    This *almost* hits the trifecta - they just need to make it either a plug-in hybrid or a full-on electric vehicle, and the hisptergasm will be planet-wide.

    As South Park put it - this will be the ultimate source of smug.

  23. Colin Millar
    WTF?

    Big Data or completely useless information

    Why would you want to measure lateral g in a beetle? Get it much above 0 and you will have something much more interesting to observe - still at least you can use the phone to call someone to put your car back on its wheels.

  24. Ralph B
    Go

    Memo to Top Gear

    > g-force meter to measure lateral acceleration

    VW and Apple have just created the ultimate Angry Birds controller.

  25. David Kelly 2

    I want an iPad iBeetle

    iPhone on dash? Boring. How about a iPad, big enough to be seen?

  26. IGnatius T Foobar

    Generic please

    You'd think that by now, car manufacturers would have started building little easels into the dashboards of cars, perhaps with a USB charge port on one end, so that we wouldn't have to use those ghastly windshield mount rigs anymore.

  27. Steve Martins

    portable dock

    A friend of mine bought an Ipod dock recently. Nice looking device, quite nippy around town and not bad on fuel economy. Unfortunately VW don't make a dock for my phone, so I'll be shopping elsewhere...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Volkswagen brings out motorised ride-on dock

    I misread that last 'o' as an 'i'. Then I read the story and decided that it's actually a typo...

  29. Scott 53

    will you

    have to return it to the dealer if your battery needs replacing?

  30. Gob Smacked
    Holmes

    Forgot to cancel

    Sometime 18 months ago, an iPhony yelled during a board meeting that the iBeetle would be *it*. Being fanbois, the unanimous vote to set it in motion put the process on rails.

    As time passed, they just forgot to see what happened in the outside world...

  31. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    A better idea...

    Funnily enough, I was thinking just yesterday that the touch-screen (aftermarket) MP3-playing "radio" in my car is woefully inept compared to state-of-the-(prior)-art tablets.

    Which leads me to ponder the idea of a car with, say, an iPad mini in place of the radio/satnav/"trip computer" stuff. I would have suggested a Nexus 7, but for this application (only) the Apple Lightning connector is a more elegant solution (technically; commercially, it's typical Apple scumminess, but that's another matter).

    We know the Lightning interface can carry a lot of data (although quite what is a mystery, due to typical Apple scumminess) up to and including HDMI video, and it's bidirectional. So one could design a vehicle dashboard with audio interfaces, vehicle interfaces, and a feed from a GPS. The iPad mini could them handle the user interface, providing audio (from internal music), controlling audio (from an embedded radio), satnav (from an embedded GPS), etc.

    Another nice feature of Lightning is that it's quite robust;; so when the device you build your car for dies and the replacement has moved the connector an inch to the right, you "just" need a new fascia insert for the new device.

    Best bit is that different car users can have their own devices, and when you leave the car, you carry it with you...

    1. Gavin King

      Re: A better idea...

      Usually I dislike the idea of that sort of tech in the car, but this idea has me interested. Just have a tastefully hidden amplifier under the dash, and an outside aerial for the radio. The last may not be so important in much of the world, but I have family in remote parts, and even the half-decent car aerial has trouble getting enough signal to work. I suppose that you could even have a basic radio built into the amplifier that's fixed in the car, to be used when if you forget/break/don't have a suitable device to plug in.

      It might not be necessary to have a new insert for a new device either: just an angled shelf on the dash, with a lip on the bottom that houses a connector that can move from side to side with some sort of clamp. The lip hides the connector and the mechanism, and it provides some sort of restraint so that the device doesn't fly about the cabin.

      Taking it with you could be a good security idea, too: like the removable face plates some radios have nowadays, but more reliable and not so much of a hassle to remember. And it would be far better than getting a blast of what passes for music with you flatmate/partner/mechanic too.

      Now we just have to get the manufacturers to agree on how to make it work, and we'd be set.

    2. Hellcat
      Facepalm

      Re: A better idea... (that has already been thought of)

      You can buy a double-din head unit that runs on android.

      These have built in amplifiers and connections for external amps, steering wheel controls etc. USB for external storage or wifi/3g dongles, hardware buttons for the basics such as volume, and programmable buttons for launching navigation, radio etc.

      The benefit of these are you don't need to remember to take your iphone or ipad with you, and nobody will break into your car to steal them if you forget to remove it from the dash.

      As for the original article. Meh. The previous beetle was a lame attempt to cash in on the mini/500 market. It failed in every way except for provinding the rest of us drivers with an easy way to spot someone who is likely to drift out of lane, or straight-line a roundabout as they have no driving talent. I expect the new beetle to be just as pointless. As I have seen elsewhere - Nu beetle is not allowed scissors.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What insanity

    Dumb and Dumber join forces.

  33. PotatoArtillery
    Big Brother

    The thought arises: Given that Apple own your photos and license them back to you, could they also own your car in the same way? Also, given the US stance on data access for law-enforcement does that mean that the bandit-chasers (ok - only American ones, but still) can access your g-meter? Distance/Time graph?

  34. Scarborough Dave

    dedicated slots???

    What about the protective case?

    I always find that these cases do get in the way of dedicated slots, thereby rendering them useless until you fumble the phone out of them, surely BT is better with a charger lead.

  35. dougal83

    Lol. Combining two products where the owners are likely to be knobheads. GENIUS! :)

  36. Christian Berger Silver badge

    And this, Ladies and Gentlemen...

    ... is why the German car industry probably is bound to fail in a few years.

  37. Fiddler on the roof
    FAIL

    Just once, please just once..........

    I would just once in my life like to be at one of these meetings were a monumentally stupid iidea is discussed, I could laugh and llaugh and laugh. But much more fun I could say being devils advocate for a moment what about.....................

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Volkswagen...

    I'm disappointed.

    Do you not think that with such heritage and respect it would have been better to stick to thinking about making cars that are good to drive?

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