A recent Frost & Sullivan survey on consumer preferences for smartphone applications (apps) and usage within cars reveals that unlike the general perception that awareness and usage of such apps is soaring, actual awareness among European car owners is very moderate and daily usage is, in fact, low.
Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com) recently published its, Executive Analysis of European Consumers' Awareness and Preferences for Usage of Smartphone Apps Inside and Outside Car, for which the consulting firm surveyed 1,911 customers across Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France to assess preferences and willingness to pay for smartphone apps and usage inside the car. The survey measured usage of infotainment and apps solutions and gauges perceptions toward existing and potentially new infotainment concepts.
"The most popular smartphone apps are navigation and live traffic information, yet they are used less than one hour at a time," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Praveen Chandrasekar. "Thus, for car manufacturers looking to add car-related apps, the emphasis should be on providing basic drive and vehicle information apps while recognizing that these apps may be used at first in a limited capacity."
Currently, car owners are getting most apps free. As they become more dependent on basic apps, usage is expected to increase and the uptake of apps that are currently perceived as secondary or tertiary may increase.
"However, car manufacturers should not depend upon car-related apps to be significant revenue opportunities," notes Chandrasekar. "Rather, car-related apps along with HMI concepts built-in to cars could be utilized as the draw for more vehicle sales overall among the car brands who embrace these technologies."
The survey also shows that Bluetooth connections are preferred over cable connections by car owners. As Bluetooth technology advances, it is expected that it will become the standard in the minds of car owners.
While Bluetooth connections may be offered as an optional feature, car manufacturers may eventually be pressured to include it as a standard feature. The most popular HMI concept combination uses individual buttons (for input) and a visual display (for output). Thus, these should be the focus of any HMI system development.
The survey shows that most important car-related attributes are responsive handling and performance, innovative technology and intelligent use of interior space. Thus, it is no surprise that the top-three brands: BMW, Audi and Volkswagen to be purchased in the future are associated with these attributes. Other car brands looking to have a competitive edge on future buyers should focus on these factors and market the inclusion of such features in their cars.
If you are interested in more information about Frost & Sullivan's Executive Analysis of European Consumers' Awareness and Preferences for Usage of Smartphone Apps Inside and Outside Car, please send an email with your contact details to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at katja.feick[.]frost.com.
Executive Analysis of European Consumers' Awareness and Preferences for Usage of Smartphone Apps Inside and Outside Car is a part of the Market Insights – Automotive & Transportation subscription, which also includes research on Strategic Analysis of the Canadian Cabin Air Filter Aftermarket, Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators for Aftermarket Distributors, Strategic Analysis of the North American Oil Filter Aftermarket, Global Electric Vehicles Incentive Database Update, European Powertrain Technologies Database – 2010, and North American Spark Plug Aftermarket, among others. These Market Insights are part of Frost & Sullivan Growth Partnership Service.
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