At Autoblog, John Neff makes a strong case for Apple TV in the vehicle. John characterizes the AppleTV as a kind of iPod for the car and, indeed, Apple refers to both the iPod and Apple TV as “iTunes accessories.” However, a more accurate if perhaps less flattering analogy would be as a successor to the short-lived Rockford Fosgate OmniFi DMP1. Apple has identified the in-vehicle market as an important one for digital content, but the mobile specialist channel is a difficult one to crack; it doesn’t exactly jibe with Apple’s holism vs. horsepower image marketing. I just can’t picture Apple’s little white set-top box being groped by a bikini-clad model posing next to a pimped-out Scion xB against a lightning matte background.
So, Apple’s main thrust here has been to partner with the automakers themselves for iPod integration, leaving the current car deck market leaders such as Pioneer and Alpine to devise their own aftermarket iPod integration products. These have made good strides in the past two years. My own fringe adaptation for Apple TV may be easier to implement. Still, for the enterprising mobile specialist, Apple TV could make a very good — and when compared to the old OmniFi, inexpensive — Wi-Fi-enabled mobile media center.