BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I took delivery of my M5 in Nov. '99, I received a "We Owe You" for a BMW Startac Digital Phone and Installation Kit. I received the phone several weeks ago, but no news on the installation kit so far. Using the phone by hand is a pain in the neck, and also illegal in parts of Pennsylvania. Does anyone know the status of the installation kit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
I was told by my dealership (in MA) that the installation kits were due beginning to mid March. The other thing I was told is though the installation kit integrates your digital startac with the car's OBC, it DOES NOT allow you to use the voice recognition dialing feature. Once I was told, I lost interest in the kit.

ALX
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
My dealer also told me that the digital phone would not have voice recognition features initially. However, he said that they were actively working on it, and his guess was that there'd be a new version within a year that would support voice recognition but that the original (current) digital phone probably would not be upgradable to the voice recognition version.

Frankly, I think it's silly that their service provider choices stink so bad (CellularOne and BellAtlantic in the Northeast - both are horrible providers) - so I'm just bailing on the whole thing, which is a shame. I'd happily fork over hte $1500 if they worked with the useful providers (ATT, SprintPCS, etc.).

YMMV
SAB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Motorola released the phones and car kits to BMW in January. I'm told that the hold up with the car kit (I too have had the phone for a few weeks) is in packaging the kits. Not sure if this is true as I wouldn't imagine Motorola sent them loose in a big box. Perhaps BMW wants a fancy box to justify the inflated price.

As for service providers, the choice is yours as long as it's a cellular provider. This excludes PCS (Sprint, et. al.). You just need to get the phone that works with the system your provider uses (TDMA or CDMA).

It's true, the BMW phone does not have voice recognition capability. The similar phone Motorola makes for MB does have voice recognition. It seems like it was BMWs choice not to offer it. As for its availability in the future, BMW NEVER comments on future product plans until they are formally announced. As a result, your guess is as good as anyones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,239 Posts
FYI - You can buy a Samsung phone from Sprint today that has voice recognition built in, as well as the "minibrowser" that lets you check stock prices, get driving instructions, etc. It isn't integrated with the the BMW computer, but then,it costs only a few hundred bucks. That and an earplug/mic gives you handsfree.

Not the same, but perhaps a reasonable substitute. (Incidentally, the grass is always greener - I have SPrint service and there are certainly areas where it sucks. I work in the wireless industry, and there is NO SUCH THING as a carrier with good coverage all over.

/G

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
I was recently in the dealership for a cd changer replacement and I asked the senior technician (who came into the waiting area to ask me a question about the cd changer) about the startac kits and voice recognition. He said that there will be a voice recognition module that can be added (when available) to the current BMW StarTac kit. He wasn't sure if BMW was going to offer this module as a free upgrade to people who purchased the StarTac kit early on (the complete kit is $1000.00 plus $250 for labor). He said BMW just pushed out the StarTac kit without the voice recognition because of the high demand for the StarTac phone. The technician then introduced me to the parts manager who said BMW will be releasing a "new line of digital phones" which will all have the voice recognition function. I was told time frame for the release of this "new line" could be as early as June. I can only speculate this "new line" may be in order to accomodate PCS subscribers and/or offer other brands i.e. Nokia, Ericsson.

ALX
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
Just to clarify......I wasn't given a price for the voice recognition module because there wasn't an offical BMW part # attributed to it. The BMW StarTac phone plus the installation kit cost $1000.00, then add $250 for labor.

ALX
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
SAB,

BMW of Peabody is also my dealer. On a subsequent visit (to buy some oil to keep in the trunk) the parts manager said he didn't think the voice recognition upgrade would be offered. This contradicts what the technician told me on my previous visit. The tech said he read about the upgrade offer in a "memo" from BMW. The one common denominator is both men said BMW rushed out the StarTac kit and it would be best to wait until late summer.

I'm going back to the dealership, in two weeks, to have French uploaded into the language options for the OBC. I'll broach the subject with the techinican for more details (if possible). I'll post whatever I find out.

ALX
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Originally posted by ALX:
He said that there will be a voice recognition module that can be added (when available) to the current BMW StarTac kit. He wasn't sure if BMW was going to offer this module as a free upgrade to people who purchased the StarTac kit early on.
Interesting data. My dealer (Peabody) said that it was very unlikely that the voice recognition would be an upgrade. They in fact counseled me to hold off until the summer to see how it all pans out. I got the impression they thought BMW hashed this together a bit too fast and would have to figure it out over the next N months.


I can only speculate this "new line" may be in order to accomodate PCS subscribers and/or offer other brands i.e. Nokia, Ericsson.
That'd be great. The two available providers in the Boston area (BellAtlantic and CellOne) are less than great in general.

Please keep posting info on this!

Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
For those of you that travel extensively, you might want to look into the Bell Atlantic tri-mode version of the Startac that is sold in association with the Bell Atlantic One Rate (national, no roaming) calling plan. I have used a Nokia/AT&T phone/plan for 2 years now and am quite happy, but want the fully integrated StarTac option.

Only complication is that the BMW phone does not work with this plan (the BMW phone is dual mode, not tri mode) and I am looking into whether the Startac 7868 (tri-mode) will integrate with the BMW kit and also whether I can get the kit without hte phone!

Anyone with answers, please respond.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top