Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) already dominates the mobile market with the iPhone and iPad, and it may not be much longer until Apple dominates the automotive infotainment market with CarPlay. There are currently 29 auto makers on board as partners including Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan Motor, Chrysler, Fiat, General Motors, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, and Volvo.
A look at Apple CarPlay’s innovation for the future
Filomena Beradi (analyst for ABI Research) explained that many believe Apple is creating more fragmentations as well as a ripple effect in the industry from not being open. Apple’s involvement in dashboard infotainment devices is just going to energize the industry.
Apple first unveiled CarPlay last year during the developer’s conference. It was also announced the first cars with CarPlay devices would be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. Highlights of CarPlay include capabilities to make phone calls, listen to voicemail, listen to music via apps like Pandora, and access contacts all via the car’s in-dashboard touchscreen connected to a compatible iPhone.
Google’s upcoming Android Auto
Not surprisingly, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) stole a page from Apple’s book and has plans to launch their own dashboard system that runs on Android. The search giant announced plans to start an Open Automotive Alliance. The standard will be named Android Auto. An open ecosystem keeps car maker from being forced to collaborate with multiple partners. This trend is potentially problematic. Auto makers are concerned about incompatibility and the possibility of supporting the wrong platform. A concern for customers is whether or not their smartphones will be compatible with their cars.
Three companies have already announce their position as open source. The aforementioned companies include OAA, GENVIVI, and MirrorLink. These companies are also considered competitors. Not surprisingly, Android could give Apple’s CarPlay a run for the money. Android reportedly is backed by 40 car makers.