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Tech Trend: 30 Percent of '06 U.S. Vehicles to...

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CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple Computer said it will expand the presence of its iPod portable music player into more new vehicles in the 2006 model year.

In an announcement Wednesday, Apple said it has deals with Acura, Audi, Honda and Volkswagen to integrate the iPod into their car stereos in the coming year. Apple previously had a similar agreement with BMW, and said vehicle manufacturers, including Ferrari and Infiniti, soon will offer iPod integration.

That makes 15 companies worldwide now offering or planning to offer iPod integration, the computer maker said. It expects more than 5 million vehicles to ship with iPod support in 2006, including more than 30 percent of the cars sold in the United States.

The Music Link iPod support provided by Honda and Acura on many of their 2006 models will be the first to include text-to-speech capabilities, or VoiceID, which is used to search for playlists, artist and album names or genre.

VW will offer iPod integration on most of its 2006 vehicles. Audi will provide iPod support on the A4, A6 and TT.

What this means to you: If you buy a 2006 vehicle, chances are one in three that you'll be able to plug and play your iPod.

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