When I was a younger man, it was all the rage to replace the stock stereo and speakers in your car with better, third-party options. This enabled you to have more features and increased volume. If you did not have something like an Alpine or JVC deck, you and you car were lame. However, as time marched on, car manufacturers slowly began to improve the stock offerings, and, today, many people are content with the factory audio.
Two tech companies are looking to shake-up the car audio industry – Apple and Google. Yes, the smartphone wars are advancing from your homes and pockets to your automobiles. Google has Android Auto, while Apple has CarPlay. Even though Android has handily become the dominant force in smartphones, according to a new study, the war for your car is still either company's to win.
"It was announced in August 2014 that some car manufacturers are delaying their rollouts of CarPlay. The exact reasoning is not quite clear at this point; however, many are speculating that there could be issues. The delay could cause an Android Auto ramp-up quicker than previously expected. So far five car models from Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Volvo have announced that they will include Android Auto in 2015 models. In addition, some OEMs have so far only announced they will be supporting Android Auto: Acura, Bentley, Infiniti, Maserati, Renault, SEAT, Škoda, and Volkswagen", says ABI Research.
Filomena Berardi, senior analyst, ABI Research explains, "it appears that some car makers are going down either the CarPlay or Android Auto route. This could be because of preference; for example, one car maker stated it felt that more of its customers owned an iPhone, in addition some car makers perceive Google's Android to be a greater threat than Apple. However, in research interviews some car makers liked the fact that Android is a more open platform. Therefore, going forward the majority of car makers will support both; in fact, to-date 20 car makers have said that is precisely what they will do. ABI Research believes that smartphone integration either via MirrorLink, Apple, Android or other will reach 30 per cent of new vehicles by 2019. This will be a mixture of all standards or car makers choosing one over another".
Ultimately, consumers will want the car that works with their devices; if the majority of car buyers own Android phones, Android Auto could win the war. However, Google's smartphone lead is not cemented, and Apple can always make a come-back from a market share perspective.Porthole Ad
Don't forget, the demographics for different car brands may align better with different smartphones. For instance, if a large percentage of Mercedes or BMW buyers are iPhone owners, overall smartphone market share is inconsequential.
So, for the time being, offering both Android Auto and CarPlay is a smart choice for car manufacturers; however, it is not the most cost-effective and wont last forever. Eventually, car manufacturers will have to make a decision as to which platform to support.
Which platform do you think has a better chance of winning? Tell me in the comments.