Massive success paves the way for car entry

Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, will talk about CarPlay on stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., June 5, 2017.

Josh Ederson | AFP | Getty Images

In the early 2010s, automakers and their suppliers were excited to develop sophisticated apps for car dashboards that went beyond CD players and small LED screens.

Partnership with companies such as Microsoft, Automakers have begun to devise services for maps, music, and street assistance. Often bundled with an upgrade package. They joined a large consortium to create an industry standard for connecting smartphones to cars.

then Apple I came and changed everything.

Apple introduced CarPlay in 2014 as a way to integrate the iPhone with the car dashboard. Since then, it has been widely used in new cars.

Last year, Apple said more than 80% of new cars sold worldwide support CarPlay. This applies to about 600 new models, including cars from. Volkswagen, BMW, And Chrysler.. Toyota, Is one of the longest holdouts and started including CarPlay in the 2019 model.

This is also the biggest feature for many drivers and car buyers. According to a 2017 Strategy Analytics survey, 23% of new car buyers in the U.S. said they “must have” CarPlay, and 56% were “interested” in using CarPlay when buying a new car. There is. “Ford’s long-awaited electric car F-150 released, Supports CarPlay.

Apple was able to get in between the customer and the car company and make sure that the interface was what every iPhone user wanted while driving. This is an undervalued victory for one of the most successful companies in the world. CarPlay does not contribute to Apple’s direct earnings or profits. However, it guarantees the continued loyalty of iPhone users and provides Apple with a path to the automotive industry if they want to expand.

The power of smartphones

Easily control your music with CarPlay with iOS 13.

Most cars use an infotainment operating system based on Linux, BlackBerry QNX, or Google’s Android Automotive to run screens embedded in the car’s dashboard. Infotainment systems often have their own music and map software, and car companies sell wireless subscriptions and other upgrades.

CarPlay runs on these infotainment operating systems, giving iPhone owners access to their most important apps in a more secure way than looking at their phone while driving. Through CarPlay, users can view Apple and Google Maps, play Apple Music and Spotify, and voice text messages to send home. All that is done on the phone itself.

CarPlay and its rival Android program, Android Auto, are not car operating systems. According to Strategy Analytics analyst Mark Fitzgerald, this is exactly the phone software. Ultimately, it’s like using your car’s display as an external monitor for your smartphone.

“When you connect to your car, there is essentially a client software client that simply displays the information from your mobile phone on the infotainment system’s display,” says Fitzgerald.

Many users find this to be sufficient.

If users have both CarPlay and embedded systems, they tend to use CarPlay. In 2018, 34% of CarPlay users surveyed by Strategy Analytics said they would only use CarPlay in the car, and 33% said they would use CarPlay primarily. Only 4% of the users surveyed say they support CarPlay and use embedded systems.

Apple has also extended CarPlay over the years to make it more valuable to iPhone owners.

When CarPlay first appeared, it needed a cord to connect the phone to the car. In 2015, Apple began supporting wireless Bluetooth connectivity. This allows users to start CarPlay simply by getting in the car and connecting the phone. It took years for new cars to support this feature, but it’s now widespread.

Last summer, Apple and BMW Announced Users can use the iPhone to unlock car doors and start the engine. Apple is joining a standardization group to spread this feature to more automakers.

Google has a similar software called Android Auto that extends the Android operating system to the dashboard of the car. CarPlay and Android Auto are not mutually exclusive. A car that supports one usually supports the other. Android app downloads are over 100 million times popular By 2020..

They tried to tune when it began to become apparent to automakers that smartphone computing power and software would improve much faster than improving embedded infotainment systems.

The Car Connectivity Consortium, which includes most of the top car manufacturers and their most important suppliers, has developed Mirrorlink, an open standard for connecting smartphones to car systems. Deployed in 2011, it was soon replaced by Apple and Google.

Samsung, the biggest supporter of Standard, both Own Major dashboard suppliers, Stopped support Last year, Mirrorlink was introduced on the company’s mobile phones. Other major Android brands are not yet supported and the consortium website only lists some older devices as supported devices.

A big leap into self-driving cars

CarPlay’s new dashboard mode.

Mac Hogan | CNBC

Apple’s success with CarPlay explains that the automotive industry is interested in rumors that Apple plans to build its own car. If Apple has been so successful in taking over the dashboard, it could be incorporated into a competitive car.

Since 2014, media reports have shown that Apple is at least considering software for self-driving electric vehicles.Hyundai earlier this year Said Probably Apple’s in an official statement that it was in talks with Apple about building its own car before Apple withdrew. Strict confidentiality requirements. Hyundai, after all No longer a discussion With Apple.

Auto industry executives showed apparent confidence, but respected the challenges Apple could pose for the car. Volkswagen CEO said Apple would enter the market. I’m not afraid. ” “I’m sleeping peacefully at night,” said BMW’s CEO in response to a question about Apple’s plans. Toyota’s CEO warned that making a smartphone is very different from making a car.

Apple’s final plan remains unclear.according to Reuters coverageInstead of designing its own vehicle, Apple may still decide to sell software and hardware (self-driving systems) to automakers.

But when Apple enters the automotive world, it requires a radically different strategy than CarPlay.

The main purpose of CarPlay is to make your iPhone more attractive. It also offers Apple other benefits, such as increasing the value of your Apple Music subscription. People want to play music in the car, but they need an easy way to control it while driving. In a March note, Citi analyst Jim Suva estimates that CarPlay could add $ 2 billion to Apple’s annual service sales.

But CarPlay itself isn’t making money. CarPlay is now free on most new cars, from basic models to luxury SUVs. BMW charged users a monthly fee to access CarPlay, but stopped in 2019 due to customer complaints.

Apple To tell No software usage fees are levied on car manufacturers. Not a licensing business. (If so, Suva estimates that Apple can bundle it for $ 750 per unit, sell 9 million units by 2025, and generate $ 6.5 billion in sales.)

Apple can take advantage of car scaffolds to support more ambitions The company has already used the App Store delivery platform to find car chargers, order food, and park parking lots. In categories such as Find, we encourage software developers to optimize their apps for the car. These features are at the heart of Apple’s in-car experience. Apple also collects the data needed to run CarPlay, much about what people are doing in the car, even if this data is anonymized to ensure user privacy. Provides raw information to Apple.

However, CarPlay was unable to power the self-driving car. This requires a variety of chips and dedicated hardware suitable for use in the car.

If Apple sells software to self-driving car makers, it will be different from CarPlay. Google’s car fragmentation is a good example. Google built Android Automotive as the car operating system, built Android Auto as a CarPlay competitor, and funded the development of Waymo, a car service that is an autonomous driving technology company and is now a sister company of Alphabet. doing.

Still, CarPlay’s success can create built-in demand for Apple Cars. At the very least, you can prevent consumers from dismissing the idea as crazy.

Apple typically announces CarPlay software updates at the annual developer conference WWDC, which begins June 7th this year.

Massive success paves the way for car entry

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