Mercedes builds in iPhone integration

Mercedes builds in iPhone integration

Apple's iPhone is the telephonic equivalent of a luxury car - sleek, stylish, feature-packed and expensive. Now Mercedes-Benz owners can integrate their luxury phones into their luxury cars with a factory-optional iPhone cradle housed in the car's center console.

All of the iPhone's primary functions are available, controlled through Mercedes' multi-function steering wheel inputs. The car's console display is used to interact with the device and display information such as track title and artist when using the music functionality of the iPhone. Mercedes claims this level of integration with the iPhone is the first of its kind in the automotive sector.

Full phone functionality is also available while the iPhone is in its cradle, with the vehicle's hands-free system and built-in aerial ensuring easy use and clear call reception. The cradle keeps the phone charged while it's installed, and can be removed or replaced with a simple click. The location is easy to get at from the front seat, though it will be something only done with the vehicle at rest, since the center console armrest area where the iPhone is housed is somewhat behind the driver, making access awkward while driving.

The full line of Mercedes cars will be offered with the option, including the new GLK when it is released in October. Pricing starts at €249 including VAT in Europe, with an additional €39 media interface or iPod interface adapter available in Germany. Now word on U.S. pricing or availability yet, but it's sure to come, and will likely be priced around $300.

Mercedes-Benz iPhone cradle