iPhone 3G and BMW

Interesting | July 11th, 2008 by 59

  In case you haven't been surfing the internet in the past year and missed all the millions of articles and searches on the iPhone …

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In case you haven't been surfing the internet in the past year and missed all the millions of articles and searches on the iPhone 3G, then I'm letting you know that tomorrow the second generation iPhone 3G will be launched. 

Last year, we were the first website to report the compatibility between the iPhone and a BMW 3 Series. One of our readers offered to show us in photos the process of pairing his new iPhone with the 328xi. The article became extremely popular and we had and stil have over 90 comments, many of them becoming very helpful to people that were having issues pairing the device or having other technical problems.

Tomorrow with the launch of iPhone 3G, we have a new challenge for you: whoever send us first some photos and a small report on the compatibility between the iPhone and a BMW, will receive an original BMW hat and a keychain, along with some cool BMWBlog decals.

Our email is: email

Looking forward to the first photos!

Thank you.

59 responses to “iPhone 3G and BMW”

  1. fas says:

    That is so cool.

  2. Mark says:

    Just curious…does the iPhone have the capability to work overseas?? Or is it just for use in North America??


  3. John says:

    Yes, it can work overseas (at least wherever there is GSM and EDGE and/or G3).

  4. John says:

    3G, that is. A little dyslexic this morning, apparently :).

  5. bsd107 says:

    I want to know also if 3G fits in the current BMW Snap-In iPhone adapter….

    It gives you an awesome dock for for the iPhone in the car, powers the phone and uses the roof antenna. BUT, you do lose iPod functionality when using it, since 6FL isn’t integrated into the adapter (like it should be!)

  6. Kier says:

    I can’t comment on iPhone 3G – but my original iPhone worked perfectly with my 535d up until I upgraded to firmware 2.0.

    Now the car fails to see any contacts data from the phone.

    Seriously annoying.

  7. Horatiu B. says:

    @Kier: That’s interesting. If that’s the case, then a lot of people will be very unhappy.

  8. Horatiu B. says:

    @Kier: I got my iphone today, I’ll give it a try later

  9. Horatiu B. says:

    @bsd107: It should fit, the shape hasn’t changed much. I just bought one today and I will test it out

  10. Tim W. says:

    terrible echo with my iphone 3g in my 328xi. Any insight?

  11. bsd107 says:

    @Horatiu B.: Thanks for checking the Snap-In. Would be nice if the 3G fit.

    Of course, the next question is whether BMW is working on an updated Snap-In that integrates the 6FL (iPod USB control) at the same time. I hate the idea of having to choose….

  12. Horatiu B. says:

    @Mark: Yes Mark, but it needs to be unlocked or jailbreak. Pretty much all Europe can buy now an iPhone as long as they sign a contract with their cellphone carrier.

  13. Scoopz says:

    I’ve posted a recent story about the new iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 software update causing the BMW address book sync’ing to stop working.
    It includes some photos too, does that mean I get the free goodies? It was posted on the 11th July :-)
    Scoopz (Admin)

    PS – just subscribed to your twitter profile!

  14. Horatiu B. says:

    @Scoopz: Absolutely :) We will post the article today and I will email you directly to get your address. Thanks again

  15. daniel frank says:

    Can someone tell me if the 2006 BMW hands-free system is compatible with the 3G Iphone? thanks.

  16. Luke says:

    I have an echo on my 3G iPhone. I am not sure but it seams it is caused by both the car and the phone mic’s staying on. i think with the 2G phone it would dissable the phone mic when the car mic was on. I could be wrong about this does anyone have another idea ? @bsd107:

  17. BustAGroove says:

    I had 1st gen IPhone unlocked using IFunstatic, Independence, etc. I was able to unlock using Pwnage 2.0. My IPhone has been exhibiting weirdness when trying to using my BMW’s bluetooth (COMMUNICATION) to use IPhone as hands-free phone and IPod connection (ENTERTAINMENT) listening to IPhone’s playlist thru car’s speaker system. I’ve reset IPhone several times when the IPhone’s display doesn’t respond. I’m going to try re-pwning my IPhone using 2.0.1. update, hopefully that will help.

    [UPDATE: 07/23/08 – I contacted BMW Customer Service and they indicated that the BMW bluetooth and IPod/IPhone functionality is not compatible with Apple 2.0 software. They also indicated that there is on method to upgrade the BMW bluetooth and IPod connection to be compatible with Apple 2.0 or IPhone 3G versions. So the BMW setup is not future-technology proof. So, I’m going to resort to using my standalone IPod and my IPhone as a separate bluetooth “phone” — no IPhone music/podcasting :(

    Here’s a link to the information I found at http://www.wireless4bmw.com

  18. John says:


    I just bought a 2008 BMW 335i convertible and discovered that my one year old Motorola Q doesn’t work in the car (won’t sync). I’m ready to buy an iPhone which I’ve wanted all along but was reluctant to drop Verizon and pay the fee for cancellation. Does anyone have my car AND a new 3G iPhone and finds that it works?


  19. Shawn says:

    John – Yes, the new iPhone 3G works with my 2007 335i with Bluetooth/iDrive. You can answer and speak through bluetooth in the car and the contacts sync across to iDrive. I will mention that I recently (before getting the iPhone 3G) had my car serviced and the dealership upgraded the iDrive to the latest firmware which I assume is the same as the 2008 335i model. In short, yes it works as expected.

    Now, if someone can offer some suggestions for my question, I’d appreciate the help. I’m trying to figure out how to mount my iphone 3G into the top of my center armrest (iphone resting horizontally in the armrest) and run a cable to both charge and play through the aux input. I’m willing to get the armrest custom modified but I need to find an iPhone holder to insert. My understanding is the the BMW iPhone holder accessory does NOT have an auxillary/line out feature. Does anyone know if the connector can be swapped out or have any other suggestions for an iPhone holder for an iPhone 3G? Thanks.

  20. Collector says:

    Dear Shawn,

    It seems Apple has changed the pin design in iphone 3G. I’m also searching the same connector as you wants, i.e. charge and having an AUX/line out.

    I’m now using the phone out + a small amplier to improve the sound quanlity before plug in the AUX in of my car. Otherwise, the sound quality is very bad.

  21. marcel says:

    i have a 3 series 08 BMW where the first gen iphone worked great over bluetooth – but the new 3G iphone has some change in software or something where now there is an echo of my own voice over the 3 series system. i’ve taken one phone back and tried another. it’s something with the new phone. anyone else having this issue?

  22. Paul says:

    @marcel: I am having EXACTLY The same problem with my 2008 535i and my 3G iPhone. A TERRIBLE echo when I’m on a phone call. I have read in the Apple forums that this is a software glitch that can be corrected once Apple decides to do something about it. I hope that’s soon. I do not want to return my 3G iPhone!! PDUB OKC

  23. scoopz says:

    Apple have just (20 mins ago) released iPhone 2.01 update. It’s a chunky 240MB download, I’m just waiting for my backup to complete before updating then I’ll go and check if any of the bugs introduced by 2.0 are fixed.

  24. Bavar says:

    Any update on this? Interested in how the 3G works post update, over BT as well as via a BMW cradle, if anyone has a new 3G cradle (reports are that the older cradle, which worked fine with iPhone 1.0 [so to speak] do not work with the 3G).


  25. jjb says:

    Certainly my address book won’t upload using the Mercedes BT puck with 2.0.1. It worked fine with 1.1.4.

    Call quality with 2.0.1 is so poor as to be almost useless too. Grrrr.

    ’07 SLK 280

  26. Andrew says:

    I have a 2008 335i and can get the Iphone 3G 2.0.1 to connect and work until I get out of the car.

    The next time I get in the phone will not automatically pair with the car.

    I have to delete the pairing and start again…..

    Do I need a BMW software update?

    Anyone else having the pairing issue??

  27. Pam Bustamante says:

    I have a 2004 BMW 330 convertible with the Ipod hook-up in ghe glove compartment. Will it work with my Iphone….(3g). I have to set up playlists and name them correctly for the system to work. Don’t want to fry anything, just want to listen to my music. Thanks, Pam

  28. Collector says:

    It seems there is a product from Kensington, namely LiquidAUX, which can charge iphone 3G, AUX output and remote control too.

  29. TwinTurbo3 says:

    My 2007 335i has the echo issue with my iPhone 3G. I applied the 2.0.1 software update and this did not help one bit. I do want this issue fixed soon, so hopefully Apple will give us the fix in the next round.

  30. Jim D. says:

    I have an iPhone 3G and an ’07 335i and had the echo problem initially. I’ve been able to eliminate the problem by initiating a bluetooth call and then on the iphone using the volume buttons to increase bluetooth volume to maximum.

    I am also using the Kensington LiquidAUX for ipod functionality for the iphone and am reasonably happy, although I’ve encountered a few times when, after pausing and then resuming playback, the sound would no longer come out of the speakers. I ipod app would indicate that it is playing, but somehow the audio from the aux port was not being heard. It’s only happened a couple of times and I’m not sure if the problem is the LiquidAux, the iphone, or the aux port on the BMW (although the latter is unlikely since I’ve been using the port for months with a traditional ipod).

  31. Andrew Solomons says:

    Is nobody else having the pairing trouble that I am???

    The iphone pairs initially but then does not reconnect when re-entering the car????

  32. Mary says:

    Yes! Mine just started having problems today. I have had my car for 3 weeks and had no problems. Yesterday, I turned my Iphone bluetooth off so I could make a call in “private” and have had problems ever since. My car cannot find my phone even though it says it is paired. Any ideas?

  33. Henry says:

    I have a 2006 BMW Z4M Coupe with the factory fitted satnav system (not iDrive).
    I had the same problems as many are having ie phone pairing but no adress book sync etc, with the ‘please wait’ prompt on the address book.

    I was able to receive calls and that was all (no addresses, no speed dial etc).

    As a solution pair your 3G iPhone with the car and then use the handset to make a call to a contact in your contacts list – you must make sure to select the BMW/ car option which should apper as a dialing option.

    The call should then route through the bluetooth in-car system and immediately the contacts from your phone should appear as usual on the satnav – thus enabling usual making and receiving of calls.

    Hope this helps.

  34. bsd107 says:

    From October 2008 production, BMW is now offering option 6NF Smartphone Integration for $150. Using it will require installing a Snap-in Adapter specific to the phone.

    What’s really cool here is that this now allows controlling & playing music while in the Snapin! It also does not interfere with independent use of 6FL at the same time!

    Not clear whether it uses the roof antennae, although it mentions “reduces radio interference…

  35. Bavar says:

    Bsd107, if this comes through, I can imagine the 6NF option would be popular. Do you have any links for this one?

    Thanks for the update . . .

  36. Andrew Solomons says:

    I have solved my pairing problems (not just between my Iphone 3G and my 2008 335i but also between the phone and other bluettoth devices.)

    Interestingly by just changing the name of my Iphone the pairing now works perfectly.

    Itunes names my phone “Andrew’s Iphone”

    Note the ‘s … the car and other devices does not like the apostrophe!

    Removing just this has made it all work

    Hope this helps.

  37. Mary says:

    I also think I solved my pairing problem. I restarted my 3G and so far, so good.

  38. Bavar says:

    Thanks for the apostrophe info Andrew.

    Appreciate the link bsd107, lots of good info there.

  39. jim says:

    So is the latest info on the ECHO problem that Apple needs to fix this? 2 week old 528xi with the iphone cradle. iPhone updated with 2.0.1. I have tried adjusting the iphone volume which does help, but doesn’t really solve the problem. ?????

  40. scoopz says:

    @jim: I’ve not experienced the echo problem myself but if you are running 2.01 I would first suggest updating to the latest version. Since 2.01 we’ve already had 2.02 and more recently 2.1 which resolved many other bugs.

    Update to 2.1 and see if the echo problem is still there.

  41. marcel says:

    actually, the echo issue returned back for me with the latest update (after having gone away with the previous update) 328csi 08

  42. jim says:

    Thanks. I actually was incorrect, I was more up to date. Last night I did a complete restore of the iPhone from within itunes, which should have also updated the firmware in the phone. Echo is still there on most calls….

    arghhh. I really like the iPhone AND the new bmw, but don’t love the echo…

  43. Alberto says:

    Hi I am not being able to pair my iphone 3G with my 2007 525i, they find each other but when i put the password to the iphone that I just put in the idrive, the iphone says that the password is incorrect, any ideas?

  44. bsd107 says:

    @Andrew Solomons:

    Apostrophies seem to not be handled well other places, too. My wife has a Sony bluetooth speaker set for her car. If the iPhone has an apostrophe in the name, it will still sync with the Sony, but on the Sony the apostrophe is replaced by a few garbage characters.

    Must be some bug with the way Apple defines the apostrophie, or maybe it’s not a valid character for a bluetooth device name?

  45. Judazzz says:

    I have a 3 series 2007 my I am using the cable from BMW with the USM and aux it works fine but tends to disconnect from IPod and starts playing either CD music or radio.

    Does this happen to anyone else???

  46. OM says:

    When dialing for messages to my office I need to hit the * or the # keys. these are shown, but how do you need to press on them to make them work?

  47. Roberto says:

    I am having a problem with my New 09 BMW i XDrive and my 3G Iphone, I can here the person very cleary but they say they hear me very distance. Does any one know how to solve this problem. The dealer says it’s a problem with my Iphone. Does anyone else have this problem? My phone does paire and all my numbers appear on my radio.

    • Mark says:

      That’s weird. I have the total opposite problem. I own a 2009 328i, and I used to have Motorola phone which paired great with the bluetooth functions of my vehicle. However, recently purchased an iPhone 3GS and other people can hear me fine, but I can barely hear them. There’s not volume increase on it so I’m not sure how to resolve? Can anyone help?

  48. Paul says:


    I have the same problem occasionally, where the person I am speaking to says I sound distant and low. If you solved this problem, let me know.

  49. Horatiu B. says:

    @Roberto: Have you tried another iPhone and see if it does the same thing? I also suggest trying a different phone, determining if it’s the iPhone or just the car.

  50. Roberto says:

    I tried the razar and all work’s fine. Some was telling me that the bluetooth frequency different ?? Can this be

  51. nguyen says:

    Please advise how to terminate/stop the speaker for route guidance for a bmw, model 525i. It always instructs the way to go to the route setting. Please note that the car is running in Japan. Thanks so much.

  52. Julian says:

    I managed to get a new iPhone 3G snap-in adapter which syncs ok to play music from an X6. I was wondering whether or not pictures and videos (or podcasts) could be viewed from any of the vehicle’s monitors as well (I tried it on this one and it doesn’t work).

  53. Cristina says:

    I have the latest version of the iPhone 3G S (3.1.3) and paired it with my ’07 328i. However, when I’m into a phone call (to a land line or cell phone), after a few minutes, the voice I hear sounds “crackly” or static-y. No static in the background, but the voice is “cracked.” When that happens, the other party tells me that my voice now sounds “crackly” too. BMW ran some diagnostics and said the bluetooth works fine, it must be my phone.

    Has anyone encountered this problem before?

  54. Jim says:

    I am experiencing the exact same issue with my iphone on my bmw – were you able to determine the issue?

  55. Paul says:

    I have tried to pair the I-Phone 4 to my 2008 5 series BMW unsuccessfully. When I checked compatible phones on BMW website, 3GS was the latest phone. When I called the dealer, they said that BMW may come out with a software upgrade later this year AND I could have it installed for USD 439. What a rip off!! If I would have known this, I would not have bought my I-Phone. Isn’t there an APP for this???

  56. Wincy says:

    Cool. I really like my iPhone 3G, and I used it a lot.
    If you are using Mac, this iPhone to Mac manager should be a great helper.

    It is an easy-to-use iPhone to Mac transfer, iPhone backup software that can fast transfer, rip, copy and manage your music, videos, photos, podcasts and TV Shows from iPhone to Mac and from iPhone to iTunes as well as from mac to iPhone. All formats compatible with iPhone/iPod are supported.

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