By David Thomas on September 25, 2012
There I was last Friday, a happy new iPhone 5 owner about to drive home in a 2013 Chevy Spark with the latest multimedia system on the market.
I plug the new Lightning connector into the iPhone 5 and the USB into the car's port.
The Spark's 7-inch screen says "Loading" with a ring of circles spinning around and then ... nothing.
The smartphone reads, "This accessory not supported." The accessory is a $16,000 car.
I'm a bit devastated and drive home listening to talk radio.
I may have discovered a huge flaw in the new iPhone's system, I think to myself. This story will break the blog's traffic records.
I get to the office on Monday morning after a weekend of testing the iPhone's maps, camera, applications — you name it — and shoot off a bunch of emails to automakers about their cars not working with the latest device now owned by 5 million potential car shoppers.
They scramble to find the cause of the problem.
GM is shocked since it's been working with an iPhone 5 beta for the new Spark, and Apple had the car at its Cupertino, Calif., campus for testing purposes, too.
When I heard that I thought maybe this is just my iPhone. I turn to Google.
Google doesn't find any issues like mine. Twitter, nope. Facebook, nada.
Soooo, it's just me.
I head out to shoot a video of said Spark with both my iPhone 5 and my iPhone 4, which I'll need as a prop to show off the multimedia system. Then I decide to turn the new phone off.
In my 72 hours of ownership, I hadn't actually done that. I'd been handed the iPhone with it already turned on and had just been charging it ever since.
I turn it back on and spend the next few hours shooting said video. At the end of the shoot, I decide to try out the iPhone 5 in a 2013 GMC Terrain. The iPhone 5 works perfectly and syncs in just seconds. I'd kind of forgotten the off-and-on trick and get back into the Spark. It's working there now, too!
And in our Outback and a Dodge or two I drove this morning.
So, my dreams of tech web domination are shot, but at least I now know how to answer anyone who's having trouble getting their new iPhone 5 to work in their car.
Just turn it off.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David