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Apple to take 50% of in-car infotainment market by 2018

ABI Research forecasts that the shipments of connected in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems equipped with one or more smartphone integration technologies will grow substantially during the next five years to reach 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, 49.8 per cent will be equipped with Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, 43.6 per cent with MirrorLink, and 28.2 per cent with other technologies.

“Car OEMs face the difficult challenges of not only how best to integrate smartphones into their vehicles, but also how to ensure that the integration strategy remains viable throughout the life of the vehicle and multiple generations of smartphones,” said Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

There are numerous options for integrating a smartphone into a car’s head unit and enabling it to be controlled via the car’s IVI system – whether from a head unit, steering wheel controls or via voice. These range from industry standards such as MirrorLink to proprietary technologies such as RealVNC, Abalto Technologies’ WebLink, and Apple’s recently announced “iOS in the Car”. There are also UI screen replication technologies such as Miracast and MHL, which are designed for high bandwidth applications such as video streaming to rear-seat entertainment displays.

“It is inevitable that consumers will demand to be able to use their smartphones in cars, even in luxury cars equipped with the latest top-of-the-range fully embedded infotainment systems,” said Owen. “However, OEMs producing lower-end mass-market cars will probably invest significantly less on developing their own systems and rely more on smartphones-centric infotainment solutions.”

ABI Research also investigated the M2M telematics sector, particularly the Service Delivery platform market.

Automotive OEM telematics will experience one of the highest growth rates and control a much larger share of platform services but mainly through Connected Device Platforms (CDP) as more cars are connected using cellular services for a variety of infotainment, safety, security, cost-saving, and convenience applications.

Revenues from CDPs and Application Enablement Platforms (AEP) – the other major component of the M2M SDP market – are expected to exceed $2.2bn in 2018. The commercial telematics and remote monitoring and control segments are currently the largest with nearly 50 per cent of platform revenues.

Markets with a more equal revenue distribution across platforms and higher future growth are aftermarket telematics and telehealth. ABI Research is hosting a webinar next week that will provide more insight into this market.

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