Apple has hit it big with automakers. The iPod maker has cemented a deal with Ford, General Motors, and Mazda to ensure that the portable music player can be easily integrated into millions of cars.
The agreement stipulates that the automakers will include, in the glove compartments of their vehicles, a connection system for iPod playback and charging. With this system, you can use your car stereo controls to navigate the iPod.
A few new cars offer this sort of integration system now, and some automakers offer an integration kit for older models. The vast majority of iPod driver-listeners, however, get their music thrills by using adapters that connect the iPod to the car stereo.
The market for those adapters will undoubtedly continue to be strong, since many people will continue to drive the cars they have, and will continue to need those adapters if they want to continue to listen to their iPod collection while on the road. The increase in integration, however, will definitely affect sales of these adapters.
Another factor in all of this is the continual use of the word iPod. Apple’s portable music player is definitely the dominant player in the market, but Microsoft’s Zune is coming and other models are making inroads. One would assume that the glove box charging-and-listening system would be adaptable to MP3 players made by other manufacturers, although the key word might be adapt, meaning that you might need to buy an adapter in order to use a non-iPod device.