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Apple Computer, the world’s largest maker of digital music players, said Friday that several leading makers of automobiles would integrate support of the iPod music player in the models launching in 2007. Instead of integrating special-purpose hard drive-based MP3 players into their cars, drivers will be able to enjoy music from their Apple iPod players.

“Now more than 70%of 2007-model US automobiles will offer iPod integration, with General Motors alone making it available on all 56 of its models, representing millions of cars and trucks,” said said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of worldwide iPod product marketing.

Apple announced that it had teamed up with Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Mazda to deliver iPod integration across the majority of their brands and models, making it easy for iPod users to enjoy and control their iPod’s high-quality sound through their car’s stereo system, the Cupertino, California-based company said.

“We’re delighted that Ford, General Motors and Mazda will support iPod connectivity in nearly all of their new models,” Mr. Joswiak added.

Meanwhile, BMW, a leading carmaker in the European Union, has been integrating iPod connectivity for many quarters now. Even though Apple iPod’s market share has been gaining, it has never been associated with the automobiles’ iPod connectivity market share growth: and otherwise: car sales are separated for the iPods. On the other hand, sales of cars with integrated iPod players may pose threat to sales of advanced car audio players.

Apple has sold over 58 million iPod music players since 2001.

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