BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has attracted some big business away from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has dumped Microsoft for its Sync in-car computer system and selected BlackBerry instead.
BlackBerry to power Ford Sync 3
Ford showed off the third generation of Sync on Thursday, promising that it will be easier to use and that the voice command interface will be more natural. The new system will run on BlackBerry’s QNX software.
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The original Sync was introduced in 2007, but consumers have been unhappy with it because it has been plagued with bugs and problems since it was introduced. The quality ratings for Ford’s vehicles have been affected significantly by all the problems with the Microsoft-powered system.
How BlackBerry’s Sync works
USA Today reports that BlackBerry’s QNX infotainment system simplifies the layout of Sync by offering bigger fonts and a touchscreen that’s easy to navigate with a swipe. The touchscreen also offers pinch to zoom, just like most tablets do. In addition to the touchscreen though, there are also physical buttons and dials for those who prefer physical controls rather than a touchscreen.
Ford will be rolling Sync 3 out into over half of its Ford- and Lincoln-branded vehicles in the U.S. through the end of 2016. The automaker will then expand it to markets around the globe. The first vehicle with the new Sync system will arrive next year, but management declined to say which of its vehicles will be the first to have it.
Ease of use for the win
Ease of use is clearly of utmost importance to consumers when it comes to electronics in cars. AutoTrader conducted a technology shopper influence study this year, finding that nearly half of consumers wouldn’t buy a car if they though the technology that was in it was too hard to use.
Additionally, 48% of consumers said they believed it shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes to learn how to use the electronics inside a car. The study also indicated that 56% of vehicle owners would opt for a different brand of car if the one they were thinking about buying did not have the technology features they wanted.