Were you wondering why BMW's roundel wasn't among the 12 logos present during Apple's WWDC keynote where it was announced that iOS will come to your car in 2014, even though BMW will be adding Siri integration to their cars that year? Now we know.
In case you missed it, Apple announced that 12 carmakers including Chevrolet, Jaguar, Nissan and Ferrari will come with systems starting next year designed to take iPhone integration to the next level by putting iOS directly in their infotainment systems.
Why not? Because they don't see the need to change all their systems just for Apple.
The British autos website ArnoldClark.com says a BMW spokesperson told them this:
"…the upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]."
The company said that while BMW's infamous (and until fairly recently, infamously difficult to use) iDrive system can be potentially integrated with any software, they only see themselves focusing on their proprietary software for right now. The piece also highlights something else that's important to note before we expect Apple to show up in all our cars tomorrow:
Interestingly, BMW also added that "...vehicle OEMs pre-invest many years ahead of development" so it would come as a surprise if such a system (iOS in the car) became ubiquitous across manufacturers in the next few years - something several Tech publications have been very quick to speculate.
As I said in my piece yesterday, infotainment systems have come a long way since the clunky, frustrating first generation iDrive from 2002, but very few of them — if any — are as easy and fast to use as a smartphone. Apple integration to cars could help that, but I expect other carmakers will follow BMW's lead and continue focusing on what they've been working on for years.
In other words, don't expect the Apple-in-your-car revolution to happen overnight.