Vehicle manufacturers (VMs) in Europe and North America have stepped up their game in response to the smartphone threat. Most of them have flooded the market with free apps focusing on areas such as customer relationship management (CRM) and breakdown assistance, while others have created value-added apps such as remote start/stop.
New developments such as the Nokia MirrorLink, using which Alpine has already created an aftermarket head unit, are also opening up new revenue opportunities for VMs to enable smartphone apps inside the car in a complete remote terminal fashion with controls using vehicle human machine interface (HMI). This, in turn, is creating a massive interest in HMI elements as both revenue generator as well as brand differentiator. Concepts such as Chevrolet MyLink, GMC Intellilink are examples of this HMI response by automakers.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Connectivity, App Stores, and Cloud-based Delivery Platforms: Future of Connected Infotainment and Telematics Market, finds almost every VM developing and hosting apps on popular application stores in the next year. Interest from handset makers such as HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony in the Nokia MirrorLink standard underscores its potential of becoming an industry standard, allowing VMs to standardise and make revenues out of apps.
"Mobile apps in the consumer domain have created a revolution, emerging as a powerful alternative business model and revenue generator for handset makers," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krishna Jayaraman. "Though a similar situation cannot be envisioned for the auto market, standards such as MirrorLink and other developments are encouraging VMs to bet on smartphone apps. Added to this, the biggest driver this opportunity presents is the increased focus on HMI design and development."
Smartphone interface technologies such as Ford SYNC Applink, Nokia MirrorLink and several other concepts have given VMs the confidence to pursue smartphone and apps, not as a threat but as a revenue generator and crowd puller. With all this in place and the advent of touch screen and advanced voice interfaces inside the car, the time is ideal for VMs to leverage these drivers and make a revenue case.
"The biggest challenge that remains is that of VMs allowing previously tier 2 software providers, handset makers and app companies more power than before," remarks Jayaraman. "Considering the tight control VMs exert over their supply chain, this will be the biggest block to overcome, if VMs hope to make money out of apps and smartphone interfaces."
VMs need to create an ecosystem of developers and apps that they can host inside the car through either a common standard like the Nokia MirrorLink or through a proprietary standard like the Jaguar Connect and View, developed with RealVNC.
"Either way the need of the hour is not a strict OEM, tier 1 or tier 2 relationships," concludes Jayaraman. "Instead, what is required is an ecosystem approach where every partner adds value to the overall offer."
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at katja.feick[.]frost.com.
Connectivity, App Stores, and Cloud-based Delivery Platforms: Future of Connected Infotainment and Telematics Market is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Executive Analysis of European and North American Automotive App Store Concepts and Services, Strategic Analysis of the Global Automotive Market for IT Mobility Platforms and Strategic Analysis of the European Market for Telematics-enabled Usage-based Insurance. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Connectivity, App Stores, and Cloud-based Delivery Platforms: Future of Connected Infotainment and Telematics Market / M785-18