05/06

How Many Cars will be Dashboard-Powered by Google and Apple?

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There’s much interest and much consternation about the entry of Google and Apple into operating-system extensions for the car dashboard with Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively.

According to BI Intelligence:

By 2020, nearly 40 million cars will be using Android Auto and 37.1 million will be using CarPlay, and that will cover nearly all cars launching connected car services, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

That conclusion springs from a premium-priced report from BI Intelligence.

The report goes on:

CarPlay and Android Auto will be especially useful for expanding the reach of each platform’s music streaming and mapping apps.

Um, yes.

Here’s a thought: I think Apple’s primary motivation for making a big splash with a soon-to-be relaunched Beats is not just to get ahead of Spotify (which it may or may not do) but to get ahead of Google’s Android Auto.

After all, Spotify’s just a music app – Google has a service-filled platform. If a refreshed Beats becomes something so desirable that a Beats-free Android Auto will not suffice, the connected-car advantage goes to Apple. As it is, Apple and Android are nearly tied in the US smartphone market. And where there’s a tie there’s a need for tie-breakers.

The future of the connected car will belong to the tech giant who offers the best bundle of valuable exclusives since all in-dash platforms will eventually be equally effective at the basics.

As for consumers, whether its your desktop or your pocket or your wrist or your car, consumers will demand the same connected experience everywhere.

Now where does that leave radio?

Well, that depends what’s on it. Radio has its own bundle of valuable exclusives. And the key to being found and used and used again on the new dashboard is being worth finding and worth using to the audience that radio calls its fans.

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