Google and Apple set to dominate car infotainment by 2020

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Although the number of connected vehicles is at the moment, quite low, that won’t be the case in just a few years time and though there are a number of bespoke systems created by individual auto-manufacturers, new speculative research suggests that by the start of the third decade of this millennium, Google and Apple’s respective infotainment systems will be the most common around the world.

Currently neither company has much of a stake in the auto industry, even through Android Auto and CarPlay have been pushed quite heavily in the past few months. As it stands, CarPlay is slightly more popular among motorists, with the hardware launching a few months before Google’s offering. However as time goes on and more and more connected cars reach the public, it’s thought likely that with more Android handsets out there, a larger number of buyers will opt for Android Auto over Apple’s offering.

In-fact, by 2020 research from IHS suggests that Apple will have fallen behind by several per cent points, with Google having around 40 million connected cars running its infotainment system, compared with around 37 million CarPlay head units.

Is Apple's CarPlay really that different from Google's Android Auto?

Is Apple’s CarPlay really that different from Google’s Android Auto?

Other takeaways from the study include the fact that the connected car will be a much hotter battleground than just one for infotainment. With the market said to be worth in the tens or even hundreds of billions of pounds before long, it could become one of the biggest wars between tech giants in decades. Research also indicates that the growth of connected cars will drastically change how people act within their cars. Access to apps and services previously reserved for smartphones or home technology will lead to new forms of entertainment and interaction within cars around the world.

It’s worth noting too, that even though Android Auto is ahead in the raw numbers in sales projections, it’s not exactly clearing out the competition. The fact that Apple is still hotly competitive, despite a vastly smaller handset user base, points to the fact that both infotainment systems from the two tech-giants behave and operate in very similar manners, offering the same sort of third party application and services.

However, securing users in this way, is a great plan for both companies to solidify customer loyalty, as they will have their hardware in the palms of people’s hands and within their vehicles, the latter of which being traditionally somewhere that access to a smartphone is restricted.

 

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.