July 10, 2014
Within five years, 24 million automobiles could be fitted with Apple’s CarPlay. That’s the good news, at least for the iPhone maker. Some folks who buy a car own an Android-based device. This could prove problematic for car manufacturers looking to make would-be customers happy, according to ABI Research. As ABI notes:
Without an open ecosystem, car makers could be forced to collaborate with more than one partner. This trend is concerning as car manufacturers will worry about incompatibility and whether supporting the wrong platform will lead to lost sales. For consumers potentially it could mean asking the dealer “will my smartphone be compatible with my car?”Apple CarPlay was first unveiled in 2013, and arrived this past winter with the iOS 7.1 update. The feature is now becoming available on select car models from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar. The technology is also available in aftermarket in-dash multimedia receivers from Pioneer Electronics and Alpine. Last week, Apple added nine additional CarPlay partners. Joining the lineup is Abarth, Alfa Romero, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Mazda, and Ram. Announced in June, Google's Android Auto is very similar to CarPlay. Already, 40 car manufacturers have announced plans to bring the system to next-generation automobiles. As Filomena Berardi, senior analyst, ABI concludes:
Many believe Apple is creating further fragmentations and a ripple effect in the industry by not being open. However, love it or hate it, with Apple on the scene it certainly draws greater attention to in-car apps and now with the Android Auto standard on the scene both will certainly drive adoption of in-car apps.It will be interesting to see whether future cars will come with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, or whether different models will only support one or another. Personally, I hope they come with both. That way, the consumer can make a more informed decision.