With the instant popularity of the iPad, and the fact that there are over 2 million of them out there in the wild, it’s no surprise that companies are jumping on these devices and putting them to work to get people excited about and purchase their products or services. Hyundai is equipping their Equus with an iPad fully stocked with a custom app. The Equus Multimedia Tablet, as Hyundai is calling it, has vehicle information and automatic dealer contact information which they are hoping will entice customers to contact dealerships for services and maintenance more often. The Equus is positioned to compete with other high-end cars like Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other snooty rides. No word on the capabilities of the equipped device, but the only downside I could see is that it is likely only WiFi, which limits its usefulness if kept in the car.
Mercedes is taking an all-together different tact, and they are equipping their salesforce with iPads and custom applications this summer trying to make it easier, simpler, and quicker to get folks roaming around looking at the cars and converting them into folks driving cars off the lot. Armed with iPads loaded with Mercedes Benz Advantage, 40 dealers around the U.S. will prototype the idea and see if it floats. This isn’t their first time tripping through the Tulips of the world of Apple apps. Back in October of last year, Mercedes dropped their financial app to the iPhone, which has been downloaded 130,000 times, and boasts some $3.6 million in payments, and 5,00 transactions according to Mercedes. If their last app is any indication, the sticking point here will be how well the salesforce can integrate the new device into their pitch, and how well they use it. If the guy trying to sell you on this new $50,000 sled is fumbling about the iPad trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B, then I can totally see them blowing the deal. Mercedes is looking for their new device to get people into and out of the driver seat more quickly, by using the device for lease returns as well.
If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur in the near future, be sure to plod on over to the MHkiosks for Malaysia Airlines and play with an iPad adopted version of their MHmobile app. As with MHmobile, you can check-in, book your flight, and check departure times from the kiosks. There’s some pics and video over at engadget, if you are so inclined.
Malaysia Airlines isn’t the only way you can get some iPad action while jet-setting, JetStar is piloting an iPad rental program starting last month that will get passengers the ability to get a device loaded up with movies, books, and games for as little as $10. The service is expected to be rolled out internationally later this year also gives you the add-on of WiFi at another $10. This is a pretty good deal if you ask me, $20 bucks for an iPad and WiFi? I can think of few ways I would rather spend my time trapped in a flying metal tube.