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Transportation Apple Entertainment

The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer 415

theodp writes "Cars.com's David Thomas speculates that the iPad could prove to be a serious problem for automakers that charge a ransom for rear entertainment systems. The base iPad, Thomas notes, costs far less than most DVD options offered by automakers. Ford charges $1,995 for a dual-headrest-mounted DVD system in its Flex crossover. In the Acura MDX, its single-screen system, with three wireless headsets and a 9-inch screen, costs $1,900. At $500 a pop, giving two kids their own iPads would cost far less than what the automakers charge for an ICE system. The Cars.com article mentions some of the advantages of ICE, including being weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees F (-20 to 71 C), and being far less prone to breakage."
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The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer

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  • hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:14AM (#31920996) Homepage Journal

    I thought mounted entertainment systems were killed by portable $100 DVD players already...

  • Sick and tired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:15AM (#31921004) Homepage Journal
    Really. I am sick and tired of seeing posts on /. on the Ipad. It's a waste of our time. Wasn't /. supposed to be "news for nerds, stuff that matters"? Ipads are not news for nerds, nor are they stuff that matters. Yuck.
  • I do not get it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:15AM (#31921020)
    Can someone explain the appeal of these "in car entertainment" systems? Seriously, this sounds like another way to not pay attention to your kids, even while you are within 2 feet of them.
  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:16AM (#31921024) Journal

    ...to steal the factory installed DVD system than they are to grab the two iPads in your back seat.

  • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:16AM (#31921026)
    Automakers still seem to charge ridiculous amounts for integrated navigation systems - the fact that you can pick up a GPS unit for under $100 doesn't seem to prevent them from charging $500-2000 for nav systems. Somehow I doubt they'll change anything here either. I figure that the thinking is they can charge a huge premium for the benefit of having a system integrated vs. just a separate device.
  • duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:17AM (#31921028)

    i figured that out when the iPad was first announced. $2000 for a glorified $300 DVD system vs $500 for a dumbed down computer that can play movies and games and you don't need to take shiny discs with you that scratch easily

    and you can use the ipad outside the car as well. and if you're an IT geek with kids, the App Store has tons of IT management apps to give you console and any kind of remote access to almost any platform from anywhere. just in case you get a call while on vacation that something is wrong

  • And, guess what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:18AM (#31921040)
    Unlike the iPad, they too can play DVDs!
  • Re:Sick and tired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:19AM (#31921044)

    Ipads are news for the USA's middle class conspicuous consumers. You know, being "cool".

    It is not hard to go to a country that is not the USA and see editorial pieces in mainstream papers openly mocking people in their own country who buy Apple products. (I am in New Zealand, and the NZ Herald had a cartoon about this recently.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:20AM (#31921054)

    Though it doesn't have a key element for kids: A DVD drive or a suitable ability to play the same movies they watch at home.

    Anyone who has a kid knows if they like their kids movies then there's got to be a easy way for them to watch it. Most parents aren't going to be ripping their kid's whole collection of DVDs and putting them on an iPad. There needs to be a connection here for this to be even semi-viable for parents. That or iTunes is going to have to try to get some more kid's videos than I believe it has.

    I don't think Jr is really going to be all that excited about all the apps.

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:21AM (#31921064) Journal

    No, you get it. That's the purpose.

  • by mungtor ( 306258 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:25AM (#31921110)

    They're awesome ways to keep kids entertained when you're on an 8-hour road trip to take them to visit family and stuff. It's not a matter of "not paying attention" to them since they only come out in preparation for a long trip (at least in our case). They're not necessary, but it makes a trip much more enjoyable for everybody and significantly cheaper than flying. Often it's my wife and the kids in the back watching a movie together, talking, and basically hanging out while I'm driving.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:27AM (#31921126) Journal
    The worst thing about the integrated sat-navs is that they are often worse in every way(except the awkward cigarette-lighter-for-power and suction cup mount aspect) than even substantially cheaper discrete units.

    Standalone GPS units live in a brutal darwinian hell-world, where only the strong or the super-cheap survive. Integrated units live sheltered lives; bundled with much more expensive objects. The difference shows.
  • Death and Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:55AM (#31921406)
    Quit bitching or go somewhere else. Lots of Apple fans read _and contribute to_ Slashdot. There are a variety of subjects I don't care about but I know numerous Slashdot readers are passionate about them so I know I'll continue to see those subjects in submissions. I just skip them. The content I want to read is interesting enough that I can just skip over the content I'm "sick and tired" of seeing. So, seriously, you have a choice - quit bitching about it or go read your geek news somewhere else. It isn't going to change so you might as well complain about death and taxes while you're at it.
  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:05AM (#31921532) Journal

    Sure. I have a just-turned-2 year old. Legally he cannot be placed in the front seat (even with a proper carrier), so his car seat is in the row of seats behind me, where I cannot even physically touch him. I cannot read to him, or play with him, or do anything but say words out of my mouth. Last week we made a 14 hour round trip (and Mom couldn't go), and I was very, very thankful that he enjoys watching Curious George and Elmo on the integrated entertainment system, because otherwise he would have been miserable - bored out of his mind, screaming his head off, and stressing me out and taking my concentration away from driving.

    We stopped and grabbed a couple DVDs out of a RedBox for a buck a piece, and returned them the next day at our local RedBox when we got home.

    We even have a TV and DVD player at our house too. More than one, believe it or not.

  • Re:Sick and tired (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:07AM (#31921570)

    Yes, bringing a collection of a hundred DVDs is far easier than storing those hundred on 64GB of flash memory.

    Pray tell what kind of quality you'd have to rip down to to get 100 movies onto 64gb of flash memory, some of which is already used by the OS and apps.

    I think most people would rather keep their cheap, rather small, perfectly portable DVD wallets [google.co.uk] and not end up with abysmal quality, and have to spend hours and hours and hours for the privalage I'm afraid.

    I could understand your argument if anyone actually carried their DVDs around in their original standard DVD sized cases, or if anyone owned an automatic disc loading and ripping device, or had the will to literally spend days manually loading, unloading, and ripping their DVDs. But right now, it's far too time consuming and dull a job, for most, particularly when you can just buy a cheap DVD wallet to carry the lot around with you.

    Your sarcasm was misplaced- carrying a hundred DVDs around really is easier than ripping them to flash memory, and you wont have to try and destroy the quality to squeeze them into 64gb of storage either.

  • Re:Sick and tired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Amarantine ( 1100187 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:19AM (#31921778)

    Who is going to carry around 100 of their original, expensive dvd's in their car? Waiting for them to get stolen, damaged by kids, scratched in the player when you take a speedbump? If you want to carry around so many movies, i think most people want to carry around copies, which involves de-css'ing them anyway. And then, carrying them around in the flash memory of a player seems suddenly a whole lot easier than burning them on physical media.

    Besides, the way i understand it, most people don't buy dvd's anyway, but download them in the first place, making it even easier.

  • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:22AM (#31921814)
    Yeah, that's always seemed like the craziest thing to me. Whenever I've been driving with someone with a luxury car and some expensive $2000 nav system built in, I've been kind of blown away that the system seems like something from 10 years ago, incredibly inferior to even the base model Garmin or TomTom units you can get for under $100. It really does seem like the only thing they have going for them is being integrated into the dash rather than a unit you have to put above your dash, but still...
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:28AM (#31921896)

    I would prefer the iPad, because I personally hate a bunch of shit in the car, including a mound of DVDs. They just clutter up the whole car, and usually become unplayable either through sticky fingers or scratches from going all around uncased, and what not. Not to mention that in an accident, shit flying all around can cause problems. Heck, it can cause an accident just from sliding around and somehow ending between your feet and the brake.

    In fact, unless it's a real car trip, I hate the thought of bringing up kids conditioned not to be away from a screen for a minute, being fed it nonstop. Not too long ago, once you got out of the house, you got to escape the TV at least.

    At least a portable gaming system is interactive. The iPad wouldn't be too bad either, with movie downloads and whatnot, especially netflix. But I won't be buying downloaded movies from apple or anyone else until the sell DRM-less versions just like the music now. They might as well, people just convert and upload the DVDs/Blu-Ray without problems as it is.

    But I do wish a simple book would be adequate these days. And I'm saying this as a frequent flyer who appreciate the personal entertainment systems in the seats these days, and their role in shutting the brats up.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:29AM (#31921902)

    The Edsel was actually an excellent tech testbed and spawned several ideas used in later products, despite being a financial failure as a product itself.

    Either way, I'm not sure that I can take the word of an AC on slashdot that the iPad, which has been on sale for about a month is a "dismal failure" and a "turd of a product". From what I have seen of a broad range of reviews, both positive and negative, I don't think it can really be classified as that.

    Perhaps your anti-Apple anger is making you resort to hyperbole. Perhaps that is also why you accidentally checked the "post anonymously" checkbox.

  • Re:Sick and tired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MattSausage ( 940218 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:41AM (#31922060)
    Just out of curiosity, isn't storing two iPads in the car the same sort of conundrum? And if you mean to remove the iPads every time you leave your car, why can't you do that with a dvd wallet?
  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:52AM (#31922206)

    And plenty of Apple customers don't care one bit about what people think about them, or if it is "cool" or not to be using a MacBook, iPod, iPad, iPhone, or whatever.

  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:12AM (#31922474) Homepage Journal
    Do a Google search on the phrase, "Disney largest shareholder" and you will also answer the question of who has the keys to the "Disney Vault."

  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:15AM (#31922508) Homepage

    you can buy an after market portable DVD player designed to use in a car...

  • by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <(gterich) (at) (aol.com)> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:38AM (#31922914) Journal

    And, unlike the iPad, it'll actually play DVDs!

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:46AM (#31923042) Journal

    Yeah, do kids even play the "license plate game" anymore? They'll never know the reward of hours in the car, and then the majesty of the Delaware Memorial Bridge looming up on the horizon. "Daddy, is that the golden gate?" "No. This is Delaware". I bet they just look up from their gadget and go "hmph" if the 'rents point out the landmarks. Are these kids going to be so overstimulated that the only thing to turn them on will be something truly dangerous?

  • A waste of money (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GoJays ( 1793832 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:48AM (#31923076)
    In my day, entertainment on long drives was looking out the window and making up games as we went. Kids are already exposed to enough television and other mindless entertainment. Do they really need to have their own iPad for the occasional long drive? Maybe they should try looking out the window and experiencing the world in which they live.
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:50AM (#31923124) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't the exact same thinking apply to any personal computer that isn't bundled with the car? If a $500 iPad is trouble for Ford, then a $400 laptop that can do anything, even things not approved of by Apple, is even more trouble for Ford.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:20PM (#31924800) Homepage Journal

    Kids these days with their "in car entertainment" and their "iPods" and whatnot; when I was their age all we had to do in the back of the station wagon was fight with our brothers and sisters and make faces at the cars behind us!

    Being serious now, I do feel bad for today's kids. When I was growing up, you could sleep across the back seat or climb up front to hang out with the parents. On quiet stretches of the interstate, Dad would let me sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals. Sure, it was unsafe as hell, but it beat being continuously strapped down as is mandated now. I can't blame the kids for wanting their DSes and iPods because they're stuck in their seats for 8 hours at a time.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle