Apple (AAPL) gave a pleasant surprise to its enthusiasts and car fanatics when it announced at the Geneva Motor Show that it would soon enter the car infotainment space. While that’s great news for automakers, Google (GOOG) is surely feeling challenged. This is an encouraging piece of news for Apple investors who have been a bit concerned over the tech titan’s future products. Let’s check out what this behold for the company, and its existing and future rivals in the space.
Tech touches Auto
Apple would be collaborating with the automakers to integrate its connected technology within the car. Now this is not for entertainment alone, but for safety as well. Smartphones have become such an essential part of an individual life that keeping it away for a while has become virtually impossible. While that’s amazing for smartphone makers who earn a lot, it certainly not good at several occasions, say when you’re driving. The phone calls, messages and other attractions distract you which add to the driving risk.
Apple is working on offering the CarPlay: a solution that would make driver’s interaction with his smartphone almost seamless, and minimize the risk of disturbance while driving. Once the solution is integrated in the car dashboard, it would integrate with the iPhone.
Using the in-built human machine interface, or the HMI control, a button on the steering wheel, a touchscreen or SIRI, one would be able to control the phone and have access to making or receiving calls, texting, playing music, navigating, and other similar activities.
Keen on exploring this area
Recently, the Cupertino giant bagged two patents. One of it is the broader telematics systems, and the other one would allow the user use the smartphone as an eCall/911 unit linked to the vehicle’s Airbag sensors and GPS.
A threat for others
Apple has huge plans to explore this area and make it big. Now this poses threat to many conventional vendors that provide infotainment and telematics solution to auto giants such as General Motors (GM) , Ford (F), Volkswagen (VLKAY), and other players. Typically these suppliers take long time. Most carmakers also have to put in billions in their R&D to develop apps that takes six to twelve month. With the CarPlay, automakers would have a ready solution of a tech colossal as Apple. The only task left on the part of the carmakers would be to design a button, screen, and few useful HMI solutions to aid integration.
Apple’s not the only players working to get some space in the connected cars space. Google’s got the head start here. So one shouldn’t be surprised to see the two getting back to war again for a bigger space on the car dashboard.
Apple’s move into the car space it quite a wise one. The tech giant has lately been criticized for its current product line, and the inability to come out with a fresh product altogether. Its foray into the car infotainment would help the company overcome temporary slowdown and find another business line that would generate further revenue for the company. It’s only a matter of time to ascertain where the CarPlay would stand among all other infotainment offerings.