Study: New car owners pleased with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Dive Brief:

  • New vehicles owners with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are satisfied with their features and depend on them for the majority of their infotainment in the car, according to a Strategy Analytics survey. Survey respondents like CarPlay because its interface is similar to the Apple smartphone interface, but both CarPlay and Android Auto drew plaudits for their simple and consistent interfaces.  
  • Strategy Analytics’ survey dug up a snag for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It found integration issues with embedded infotainment systems can negatively affect overall user experiences. On the flipside, a big plus for these systems is they can be updated to add new apps and remedy bugs. 
  • Apple and Google announced CarPlay and Android Auto in 2014 and, three years later, they’re in more than 150 car models, estimates The Verge. However, many car brands, including Lexus, Tesla and Toyota, don’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Dive Insight:

Apple and Google don’t only want to connect with consumers while they’re at their homes or offices, they’d prefer to ride with them in their cars, too. And several car brands — Nissan, Land Rover, Jaguar, BMW and Porsche, for instance — offer or plan to offer either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto or both because, as Strategy Analytics’ survey indicates, car buyers are happy to have them as resources in the car and to link with the various devices they own. As a CNET article points out, car makers don’t specialize in infotainment systems, and the ones they’ve provided tend to be overly complicated. By contrast, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are better, but they’re not perfect. They can crash, house a limited range of apps, sometimes for practical safety reasons and other times for proprietary business purposes, and require phones to be tethered to USB inside cars.

Despite a number of carmakers offering Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a handful are trying to keep Apple and Android out of their vehicles’ infotainment centers as much as possible. Ford and Toyota formed the SmartDeviceLink Consortium to promote the so-called SmartDeviceLink that allows iOS and Android apps into cars with software oversight from the automakers, per The Verge. The automakers' goal is to control data and not cede that control to third-party tech companies. "The lifetime value of a customer with [a carmaker] is typically around half a million dollars," Roger Lanctot, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, told The Verge. "Lose control [of the data], and they're losing out on some piece of that $500,000." But, if Apple CarPlay and Android Auto truly outshine SmartDeviceLink, they could become selling points for new cars, forcing Ford and Toyota to give up control in favor of infotainment systems car customers like. 

Filed Under: Apps Mobile marketing trends Tech and platform developments
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