‘Pods Unite’ : VW & Apple Team Up in New Beetle | iLounge News


‘Pods Unite’ : VW & Apple Team Up in New Beetle

It’s exciting to see two companies that fit so well together acknowledging that harmony they enjoy. What interested me most was the mention of a “Volkswagen iPod connectivity kit.” Maybe VW is solving the problem of so many messy wires being needed to connect an iPod with decent sound. Here’s hoping it will be available for current VW/iPod owners.

“Volkswagen’s iPod connectivity kit completes the pairing, with the ability to create and remotely access a road-ready digital music library.  Together, the estimated retail value of the iPod and VW connectivity kit is about $600. [...]

Each New Beetle iPod is custom-engraved with Volkswagen’s “Drivers Wanted” logo and comes with a coupon for $100 off a purchase of $999 or more, from apple.com, Volkswagen’s exclusive Street Mix CD collection, a free e-book from audible.com, a VW Music-zine, and a “Pods Unite” window sticker.”

Editor’s note: We had first heard about a possible partnership in April 2002 in a report from one of our readers. But instead of the Jetta, it is the Beetle which is getting the special iPod connectivity kit.

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I stopped by the local VW dealer on my lunch break and asked about the “Volkswagen iPod connectivity kit.”  Unfortunately, it consists solely of a generic cigarette lighter power plugin, i.e. a plain old car adapter, and a cassette adapter to play through the in dash stereo.  No adapter for the CD deck in the trunk or and it certainly doesn’t solve the ‘wires’ problem.  And just to be clear, no holder or anything like that.

The in store ‘demo’ is a 10 gig with a dock setup and a pair of head phones on a salesman’s desk.

I asked about getting a “Pods Unite” window stick gratis and was told they didn’t have any.  The in store demo unit is being offered as a spiff to the salesman who sells the most New Beetles during the promotion.

I was hoping for a bit more from such a promotion.

Posted by HeadFra in Irvine, CA on July 15, 2003 at 2:36 PM (CDT)


Why does it seem like if you gave us 15 mins we could think this thru a little better?

Better publicity, better Point of purchase displays, better functionality.

Well maybe this is just to test the waters, and see how many people come in to check it out?

It would seem that using the stereo to control the iPod (ie. what Blitzsafe is supposedly working on) and provide charge, while displaying the track and title info on the stereo face would be a bit more appealing than a car adapter kit that you can buy in the apple store, along with a dash kit that totally doesn’t match the rest of the car.

Just my .02

If phatbox (VW trunk mounted MP3 system) can use the stereo face to control the system, why can’t VW/Apple/Blitzsafe work up the same?

If remote controlling wasn’t designed in by now (3 gen iPod) that would be a shame!

Apple could get even more sales here simply by being compatible with a ‘pre existing setup’ if you catch my drift.

Posted by Matt in Irvine, CA on July 16, 2003 at 12:16 AM (CDT)


Just as a followup: the TV ad campaign started during the All Star Game last night.  It shows a white Beetle close up from odd angles along with a 3G Ipod in the same manner, so that you can’t immediately figure out what it is you’re looking at. (As an Ipod Idiot Savant, I immediately recognized the image of the control buttons with the backlight on and then realized I was seeing the new promo.)  They do a shot late in the ad thru the sunroof sowing the Ipod in some sort of white holder .  That holder certainly didn’t exist in the promotional lit the store I visited had.

Posted by HeadFra in Irvine, CA on July 16, 2003 at 5:30 AM (CDT)


The holder in the spot is the exact holder you get when you buy the Beetle.

Belking designed the holder - custom made for the Beetle.

The salesman didn’t know what he was talking about - program launched yesterday—some guys are slow.

It’s cool.

Posted by ntheno in Irvine, CA on July 16, 2003 at 6:47 PM (CDT)


The cassette adaptor and power adapter (with line out) are both stock Belkin iPod rev 3 products. I haven’t tracked down the cup holder cradle, but if ntheno is right, and it’s a Beetle-specific cradle that would be a shame. I’m still thinking about wiring in a specific line-in for the iPod into my car stereo, and the cradle and power adaptor would give me the rest!

Posted by Duncan Mok in Irvine, CA on July 17, 2003 at 10:39 PM (CDT)


The commercial can be found here:


Very cool.

Posted by mongoos150 in Irvine, CA on July 18, 2003 at 9:42 AM (CDT)


I live in France where the “Pod Unit"has never been avalaible.
But I use my iPod in my New Beetle with Belkin stuff.
It works well enough but the cassette adapter is pretty noisy for classical music. And the ipod doesn’t like to stay still in the cup holder in spite of Belkin’s Tune Dock Car holder :)

Posted by Laurent Lagadec in Irvine, CA on May 11, 2004 at 2:55 PM (CDT)

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