The TomTom Cradle for the iPhone is due out in October according to sources at TomTom, so let’s take a little closer look at the TomTom Cradle.
iPhone and iPod Touch Support
TomTom have announced that the cradle will support the iPhone and the iPod Touch. This means that Apple must have enabled GPS through the data/charge port on both the iPhone and the iPod Touch, or they’re going to use Bluetooth (which is unlikely). Currently no application can use GPS through the data/charge port on the iPhone/iPod Touch, so the belief here is that Apple will need to enable this. The big question is, have Apple already enabled this in iPhone OS 3.1 or will the cradle require iPhone OS 3.2 to support this? And what about the iPod Touch?
SiRFStarIII GPS Chipset
TomTom have also announced that the cradle will come with a GPS receiver, I confirmed looking at the FCC spec diagrams that this would be a SiRFStarIII GPS Receiver to improve the GPS Performance of the iPhone.
TomTom will also be providing a loud speaker on the mount, if the loud speaker built-in to their GO9XX range is anything to compare with, this will be a very loud speaker.
Cradle must be powered
TomTom also announced that the cradle will also charge the iPhone / iPod Touch, which means the cradle needs to be powered in-car. Just like a regular device, you wouldn’t want to go far using navigation without a car charger.
TomTom also say the loud speaker will also double up as a Hands-free calling device, so if the speaker is loud enough (and one would hope it would be) you could use it as a hands-free speaker phone for the iPhone. The only downside here will be how extra-sensitive is the microphone built into the cradle, and is it too close to the speaker to create an echo/feedback?
Finally, TomTom have said they will include a Line Out port to allow you to connect the cradle directly to your car speaker. Why they would do this I’m not entirely sure, if the speaker is loud enough. However, they do provide this on all the TomTom GO9XX mounts, so I suspect TomTom just want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt in using their car speaker system, however it seems a little wasted to me, why not just plug your AUDIO OUT speaker cable from the iPhone directly into the car stereo LINE IN port?
- EasyPort Mount from the TomTom ONE and TomTomXL
- Built In Speaker
- Volume Control
- Microphone for hands-free calling
- Mini USB Charging Connector
- Audio Line out (for connecting to Car Stereo)
TomTom don’t seem to be budging yet on the price, the price is still a high price at £99.95 without the TomTom App. This makes it more expensive than their entry line TomTom GO devices that currently have more features than the iPhone app.
Many twitter followers are already complaining about the high price tag for the cradle. For the people willing to pay the high price tag, they might see improved GPS performance, but for many looking at the comments on twitter, it looks like most are voting with their feet and not willing to give it a try and will wait for the reviews to come. In the mean time these people are purchasing a standard mount and CoPilot Live 8.
If you have any further questions about the mount or would like something explained in more detail, why not ask me on Twitter.