While factory integration for Apple's iPod was already a commodity found on some vehicles, it has remained noticeably absent from many of the dashes of America's most financially-unstable automakers. Apple has now inked a deal with Ford, General Motors, and Mazda that could make iPod owners hold off just a bit longer before throwing down for those new wheels, though. Now the iPod will have integration in every single 2007 US Mazda and the "majority" of '07 Ford and GM vehicles as well. While less-than-ideal options have long been available for getting your iPod to function within the confines of your ride, the ability to pump tunes directly from the 'Pod to the speakers without hissy FM transmitters or elaborate wiring schemes is certainly a fresh alternative. According to the statistics, this move will ensure that "70 percent of US automobiles" have factory iPod integration right off the showroom floor. Apple hasn't been in danger of losing its grip on the digital media player market (although a certain corporation has other plans), and giving Ford, GM, and Mazda drivers this functionality should do nothing but good things for those quarterly sales figures. Nevertheless, Steve can't bask for too long in the glory of this deal, for he has a lot of explaining to do come Monday -- starting with all the wondrous possibilities that are already being envisioned due to that damned banner.

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