Palm and Audi Launch Bluetooth Treo Handsfree System

Palm and Audi of America, today announced their collaboration in a new generation of communications solutions designed to improve safety and convenience for drivers: easy and totally integrated hands-free calling inside the car. Using built-in Bluetooth wireless technology and the Palm Treo 650 smartphone, drivers of 2006 Audi A6 and A8 vehicles can make and receive calls totally hands-free using the car's MMI (Multi Media Interface) console, voice-recognition interface or steering-wheel controls.

The Bluetooth integration is a major innovation the two companies are delivering as part of an alliance that includes technology co-development and integrated marketing campaigns that reach the two brands' combined audiences.

"Today people spend more time in their cars than ever before, and mobile phone usage and utility is exploding," said John Hartnett, senior vice president, Americas, at Palm, Inc. "As the convenience of smartphones and wireless access continues to expand worldwide, an important next step was to integrate these technologies into cars in a way that places safety first. Now drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, while using the Treo 650 to communicate with the outside world."

"Audi and Palm share very similar user demographics and leadership in design, technology and brand loyalty," said Stephen Berkov, director of marketing at Audi of America, Inc. "In light of these similarities, we saw a special opportunity in the intersection of car and phone technologies."

With the Treo 650 smartphone, Audi drivers can take advantage of the Treo 650's advanced calling features without ever touching the smartphone. After initiating Bluetooth communications between the Treo 650 and the car, drivers can use the steering-wheel controls, MMI controls on the dashboard, or the optional voice recognition to do the following:

  • Pick up or ignore incoming calls;
  • Dial outgoing calls;
  • View active call status, including caller ID;
  • View the Treo 650's call history;
  • Dial from Treo 650 favorites, speed dials, or call logs;
  • Access Treo 650 voicemail;
  • Manage multiple incoming calls; and
  • View carrier information, including signal strength and roaming status.

Audi and Treo 650 Bluetooth SystemBluetooth technology comes built-in to the Treo 650 smartphone and is standard in every 2006 Audi A8 and A6, so no extra purchase is required for Treo 650 owners who also own one of these new Audi models. Bluetooth technology also is available on the 2006 Audi A3 and 2006 Audi A4 and S4 sedans and Avants when the vehicles are equipped with the optional phone preparation.

In addition, Audi of America will introduce a special phone cradle that allows the customer to securely dock the Treo 650 smartphone in the center arm rest. The cradle provides a connection to the vehicle's external antenna for optimal reception as well as a power supply that charges the Treo 650 while in the cradle. Customers will be able to purchase the cradle from their local Audi dealer this fall.

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One more

rasty @ 8/22/2005 2:17:26 PM # Q
Looks good... anyway this is surely not the first car with stock bluetooth!

RE: One more
LiveFaith @ 8/22/2005 2:26:59 PM # Q
Yeah, but read the press release carefully. If you overclock the Treo 650s PXA processor, the Audi gets an extra 20-25 more horsepower! Worth it to me.

Pat Horne;
RE: One more
rasty @ 8/22/2005 2:46:23 PM # Q
Great! It seems you can also use the Audi as storage space!

Automotive Technology
jfme @ 8/22/2005 2:54:48 PM # Q
Audi adds an extra page on its Owners manual:
- Soft Reset
- Hard Reset
about high damn time
ackmondual @ 8/22/2005 3:26:51 PM # Q
wireless BT headphones that work with some palm model that is

"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."
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My PDAs: Visor --> Visor Neo (blue) --> Zire 71 --> Tungsten T3 (with 4 of 6 screws still remaining) ~?~> zodiac 2?

I love it.
4s @ 8/22/2005 4:06:40 PM # Q
They can make the Treo fit into the console of a car that 99.999% of Palm's users will never drive, but can't seem to make the Tungsten T5 find bug fix work on the E2.


RE: One more
hkklife @ 8/22/2005 4:15:49 PM # Q
"Audi" has a certain cachet to it. BMW & Acura have completely taken the lead with factory-installed, OEM Bluetooth setups so Audi & Palm are obviously looking to steal a little of that thunder.

Amazing that ANY German car companies are amongt the first to adopt BT----they have always traditionally lagged behind in any number of "gadgets"----glass sunroofs, in-dash CD players, keyless entry, cupholders, MP3 playback capability, iPod/BT integration etc etc.

RE: One more
jamesgood72 @ 8/22/2005 5:20:47 PM # Q
4s - why will 99% of Palm users never drive an Audi?!

hklife - I pretty sure the Japanese had Bluetooth cars (i.e. the Prius) before the Germans. My BMW designed MINI has aux inputs for MP3 players, and optional factory iPod and Bluetooth solutions, though.


RE: One more
AdamaDBrown @ 8/22/2005 5:45:42 PM # Q
why will 99% of Palm users never drive an Audi?!

Well for one thing, statistically there are X many Palm users, and only Y many of those will own an Audi. I doubt that more than a small percentage of Palm users drive a Bonneville, either.

RE: One more
asiayeah @ 8/22/2005 8:30:18 PM # Q
This is certainly a good thing for the Palm community. Palm just needs to keep on bring out new or 'innovative' solutions to keep the momentum going.

Will more Audi drivers buy a Treo?

With great power comes great responsiblity.

RE: One more
hkklife @ 8/23/2005 9:54:23 AM # Q
WIthout going TOO far OT:

As I said, BMW leads the pack amongst the European (especially German) manufacturers in offering "bells'n whistles" that cater to the fickle tastes of the American market. Mercedes always lags behind (some of their cars didn't have a standard in-dash CD player until the 2006 model year!) everyone, Audi is pretty much mid-pack (did you know their '06 Nav systems have dual SD slots for accepting mp3 audio--I doubt they can show jpegs on the screen, though!) and, as I said earlier, BMW's the best. They added mp3 playback (standard) & Bluetooth (optional) to their line for MY '04 I think.

All of them lag the Japanese (especially Acura) in terms of goodies...Acura was doing DVD-based Nav in '00 and some of the Germans are still clinging to CD-based systems even in the '06 MY.

I'd REALLY like to see Palm work with Mercedes to get some similar setup going. Most of the executive Treo owners I know are drive ML, E, & S-class Benzes. To date Mercedes doesn't offer any form of BT AFAIK--still their proprietary hardwired solution.

RE: One more
oboise @ 8/23/2005 12:11:46 PM # Q
So, if we order the Audi through the Palm store, what do we get?
Free memory card? Free Shipping? Free Tank o' Gas? Free copy of AutoBase (oh, wait, it's already free)?


"Technology has no conscience of it's own"
John F Kennedy

An AUDI configured by Palm, the designer of the Treo 650...
joad @ 8/24/2005 1:57:25 AM # Q
If you purchase the Audi through Palm, they'll only sell it to you without rear seats. You WILL have the option of 2 months of free rear seatbelts, which of course won't work unless you have rear seats.

HOWEVER, if you complain loud enough they will send you a free set of aluminum lawn chairs that they will swear up and down are exactly the same as rear seats. They'll even have an Audi logo on them, so it must be true...

Anyone who expected rear seats will be banished from the community for being a "power driver." After all, Audi's are just cars. Palm's marketing people have determined that NOBODY except a rare few would EVER need more than 1 seat, maybe 2 in a car. "You just use them to drive, right?"

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RE: Audi = Junk
Konstantin @ 8/22/2005 8:38:27 PM # Q
Palm better switch to bundling the Treo with Citroen.

RE: Audi = Junk
KultiVator @ 8/23/2005 8:26:33 AM # Q
Audi = Junk... now you're having a laugh!

Audi make some of the nicest production cars in the world. Superb build quality, refined engines that still have plenty of grunt. They are expensive (at least they are over here in ripoff Britain) - but when you look at the extra luxury you get over a standard Ford or GM (Vauxhall & Saab - as they trade in the UK)

You don't have to be European to appreciate them either!


RE: Audi = Junk
Gekko @ 8/23/2005 10:20:44 PM # Q

2005 J.D. Power and Associates' Vehicle Dependability Study

Problems per 100 Vehicles
Lexus 139
Industry Average 237
Audi 312

RE: Audi = Junk
hkklife @ 8/24/2005 12:06:41 AM # Q

Would I be correct in assuming you drive a Lexus? Which one--an LS?

RE: Audi = Junk
joad @ 8/24/2005 1:50:25 AM # Q
JD Powers is a marketing firm. They do these "surveys" and then "license" the right to market the results to the companies that come out on top. Maybe some of what they do is legitimate, it's certainly a good way for them to make a lot of money, but as far as trusting any of their results I'll take a pass. Consumer Reports and other independent organizations that don't have a vested interest in the results of their testing are better sources of accurate information. If you are selling the results of your tests, you may format toward and favor the companies most inclined to buy your "results."

RE: Audi = Junk
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 8/25/2005 10:10:32 PM # Q
Audi makes overpriced, unreliable vehicles with nicely-designed interiors. Geeko is correct in saying their cars are crap. Lexus isn't perfect, but they (and Acura) are probably the best quality (engineering + build quality + reliability) vehicles the average person could potentially afford. Lexus vehicles tend to be boring as he11 for automotive enthusiasts. But: Sometimes Boring is Good™ (the new Lexus slogan?).

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