I have my Tomtom positioned on the windscreen next to the A pillar. It initially took a bit of getting used to as I used to have it in the middle of the screen on my 8P, but this new position does have the advantage of being able to more or less hide the cable in suitable panel joins.
I far prefer things like that by the pillar rather than in the middle - blocks far less of your view. That's where I have my phone in its cradle in my current car.
In my current car I have my phone charging cable disappear down by the A pillar under the dashboard, and I installed a switch and cabling to power it all from the fuse box so I can choose between off, on with ignition, or on permanently. It's good :) Don't think I'd dare take the A3's dashboard apart ot do the same though...
It may be inferior to you but not to me. That doesn't mean that Audi should make it cheaper just because you don't like the price. You can argue all day about speed camera locations or latest maps, but I prefer the integration of the factory system any day. That's what I'm happy to pay for - the integration. It's nice not to have to stick something to the windscreen each time I need navigation. I wasn't sure that it was worth the £500 (I actually had it free when I ordered) but I'm pretty certain I'd spec it next time.
Phones having a micro USB port? When exactly did this happen? Pretty certain my iPhone doesn't have one so I guess the EU bureaucrats have failed on this one!
Apple sell a lightning -> micro usb adapter, they are required to by law - that is correct. Not on the phone, but they have to provide a way to charge over micro USB. Of course, Apple never play along with standards.
I can only suggest you borrow a Tomtom live and give it a try. Or rather not, since you would then understand how poor the Audi system is, once compared to other devices on the market...
The connect system comes with better traffic info than the TMC as far as I'm aware.
You do seem to have trouble telling the difference between your own needs or opinions, and objective fact though. And like has been said all along - if you don't want it, don't pay for it! That's why it's called an 'option'.
Show the two systems to 10 random people, or compare them in traffic conditions, and then you will get a very objective answer. Or just post screenshots online and ask people to vote. Or just race between two cars with each system, and see who arrives first.
Lots of way to test the two systems objectively (irrespective of price), and I don't believe the Audi system would come first in many tests.
Whoever thinks that the SD card system is wonderful, and on-part with other systems on the market, has either never tried anything else, or is not being objective...
The EU is also apparently forcing car manufacturers to include emergency calling systems in all cars soon. When the EU believes that the customer can profit from a regulation, then they implement. As for the "removal computer" regulation I am suggesting, the end customers would surely benefit from this (but of course not the car manufacturers, charging thousands for obsolete, not upgradable technology).
I agree TMC is rubbish in comparison to the newer traffic services. That's why I went for the Tech Pack High. It is expensive though.
However I don't see the point of a stand alone Tom Tom anymore. What advantage does it have over a smart phone app costing less than £30 or even free?
I think the new generation of sat navs may protect up on windscreen as a H.U.D. But wether they work in bright daylight or take off we will see, so a small projector stand alone sat nav may be less obtursive, but will still have the wires to power ? Gramin are bring one out. But built in is always nicer for interior, tech is always changing and tech pack / sat nav is a bit dear from Audi, but I'm not saying its not worth it, but I won't use enough to justify.