Who says there is no such thing as a free iPad? Apparently, Hyundai. When the Equus debuted last year as the car maker’s attempt to break into the luxury sedan market, they also announced that the owner’s manual wouldn’t be provided in a traditional paper format –but rather as an electronic document in the form of an iPad app. Not only that, they were also providing the iPad!
Well if the promise of a free tablet computer was the thing tipping the scales toward your buying a $55,000 vehicle, you’ve missed your opportunity. Hyundai has announced that with the start of the 2012 model year, expecting to roll out to dealerships next month, the glove compartment will once again contain a hefty paper version of the manual and the free iPad program will be eliminated.
Their claim is that the program was only intended to run for a single year as the new vehicle was introduced. Some skeptics claim that they were simply trying to piggyback on the fame and marketing of the iPad launch, which happened around the same time.
The app is still available for download for those Hyundai Equus owners who wish to supply their own device.
Hyundai isn’t the only vehicle manufacturer to embrace the iPad. Earlier this year, Land Rover announced a limited edition Range Rover model featuring the iPad as standard equipment, providing passengers with endless entertainment options. Saab had also run a limited-time promotion in which new buyers pre-ordering their new vehicle would qualify for a free iPad as an added incentive.
If nothing else, this kind of thing shows yet another potential use for mobile devices. For some time now I’ve been turning toward manuals online for things around my house instead of indefinitely storing the paper copies. Having them available on my iPhone or iPad via an app or series of apps would be even more convenient. Especially if the manual is for something significant, because with electronic versions it becomes very easy to provide updates or additions as required.
[via USA Today]