Ford will move away from Microsoft’s carputer platform in order to deliver a system that was “more responsive and less clumsy to use.”
Ford—the second largest car maker by unit market share according to Edmunds.com—first expressed an interest in supporting Apple’s CarPlay (then known as iOS in the Car) in the summer of 2013, just as Apple introduced the initiative.
While some seemed surprised by Ford’s interest in Apple’s iOS integration system given that the company had long partnered with Microsoft on Sync, the carmaker had earlier worked with Apple to deliver automotive iPod integration starting in 2006, a year before adopting Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive platform built on Windows CE.
Apple began driving automotive iPod integration in the early 2000s with evolving serial control systems that culminated in its “Made for iPod” program. In 2004, Apple launched USB iPod integration with BMW, followed by partnerships with Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari in 2005.
After releasing iPhone in 2007, Apple expanded car support to include Bluetooth wireless connectivity on both iPhones and new iPod models. That same year, Ford and Microsoft introduced Sync with support for USB and Bluetooth devices, prominently listing Apple’s iPods as compatible devices.
Ford has since struggled to keep its Windows Embedded Automotive carputer platform relevant in the face of poor reviews. Engadget reported this week that, in response to customer complaints, Ford moved away from Microsoft’s carputer platform in order to deliver a system that was “more responsive and less clumsy to use.”