We get smart phone integration standard in the U.S., but BMW Apps and the cradle are separate purchases.
The only think I added was BMW Apps as I didn't want to regret not getting it later if there is a future app that I find appealing.
I only use the white Apple cable (no cradle) connected to my old iPhone 4 (deactivated, i.e. no data plan) that has music stored on it, and I get all of the iPod functions and cover art with the cable alone. Like Superspeed said, the cradle gives you video, and it also gives you the iPod Plugin feature (part of BMW Apps). Plugin gives you the iPod interface that can be navigated through iDrive (I think the system reads this like it is a video, which requires the cradle). This is the only thing that is somewhat appealing to me, but I can't justify getting the cradle just for that. I find the normal iPhone/USB/external devices menu in iDrive to be easy to navigate with the iDrive controller and steering wheel controls, and I also get the cover art.
The Wiki feature does seem useful, but I don't get out much lol.
I think if I did more interstate travel and longer road trips I'd find the internet radio useful. I rarely spend more than 30 minutes in the car at a time (unless I'm joy riding
), so my iPod is sufficient. I'm hoping that BMW Apps adds something so good it will make me buy the cradle, but I can't justify it right now... And that is saying something since a change in the weather is just about all it takes to convince me to buy a cool new gadget.