More than half of all the automobile models sold in the United States in 2009 will offer at least optional iPod support, according to a new iSuppli report. The report states that 39 percent of models sold in 2008 offer iPod integration; that number will jump to 58 percent next year, marking the first time an iPod option will be available in more than half of models. The report goes on to state that one-third of 2009 models will offer USB connectivity for other portable devices, up from 16 percent in 2008, and that Bluetooth will be at least an option on 82 percent of 2009 models, up from 55 percent availability in 2008.
“The automotive industry is at the point where in-vehicle technologies-or the lack of them-are influencing sales,” said Phil Magney, vice president of automotive research for iSuppli. “The charge toward greater technological integration has been led by car OEMs like Hyundai and Honda, which are making USB/iPod combination interfaces standard on many of their vehicles. It’s also been spurred by OEMs like Audi and Mercedes, which offer integrated Media Device Gateways that allow any device imaginable to integrate with a vehicle.”