MINI Connected

Countryman Cooper S 33

Did you read the MF Review yet? Go ahead and do that first. You might also see my comment:

>So, much like AppleTV brings iTunes to your home entertainment center, this, essentially, brings iTunes to your car with a few other features?

>Too bad other platforms aren’t being supported at launch. I’m guessing it only supports IOS4 as well, which even limits iPhone compatibility to 3g(s) and 4g models. It also appears that a data connection is required to take advantage of most of these features, which also eliminates using a current iPod touch.

>That means that if you want to take advantage of MINI Connected and don’t have a current iPhone, you will need to get one. And that will add an additional $200 to the price of this option.

>So for me, this is going to be a pretty spendy way to bring iTunes and Twitter to a MINI. When AppleTV is only $99 and a Mac Mini is only $700, that is a huge jump to bring that functionality to a car.

>Not sure I could justify the expense and will keep my fingers crossed for support on other devices coming sooner than later.

Gabe cleared up a few things for me here.

From what I can tell from this review (and since I haven’t seen this system in person yet), it’s nothing more than a fancy layer on top of the nav that gives you access to web radio (like iTunes), Twitter and RSS feeds. Do I really need my MINI to tweet? Do I really want to try to go through my RSS feed in the dashboard of a MINI? My answer to both of these is no.

My objection isn’t because I don’t have an iPhone. It’s also cost. It’s also functionality. And finally, value.

This is a system that, in it’s current form, is extremely limited in my opinion. It doesn’t bring any functionality that I don’t already have using any smart phone with an Aux port adapter. Oh, wait, it will tweet my location automatically. Fancy.

This is also a system that is going to be carrying a pretty steep price tag, even if you already have an iPhone with an unlimited data plan. According to the order guide posted last week at Motoringfile, price for MINI Connected is $1,000, $1750 with navigation. Add $199 if you don’t have an iPhone (like myself) and this is an option that will cost close to US$2k and provide functionality that I can get from **any** smart phone and the aux port adapter. Nav, web radio and RSS I can do from my current phone and it only cost me $200 (on contract).

Is integration and OEM warranty worth $1500? I don’t think so, at least not right now. Hopefully MINI will make this work with more devices in the near future and add features that will make this a more compelling option. A price drop wouldn’t hurt either.

Until then, I’ll pass.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with you Don, I just don’t really get the “Mini Connected.” I mean other than for the purpose of giving you a nice big screen to see your ipod interface and other normal radio information. I have found it difficult to see my ipod information as it scrolls in the two orange lines of the radio, especially if wearing polarized sunglasses. The last thing I need is twitter or facebook in the car.

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