CarPlay Puts Apple in Thick of Connected Car Business: 10 Reasons Why

1 - CarPlay Puts Apple in Thick of Connected Car Business: 10 Reasons Why
2 - The Car Business Is a New Play for Apple
3 - Many Carmakers Want In
4 - It Forces Customer Hands
5 - Will Samsung Respond?
6 - What About Google?
7 - This Could Hurt Nokia
8 - Siri Is Central to Everything
9 - Again--Integrated Services Win the Day
10 - Developers Need to Rethink Experiences
11 - Apple Is Hitting All the Marks
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CarPlay Puts Apple in Thick of Connected Car Business: 10 Reasons Why

by Don Reisinger

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The Car Business Is a New Play for Apple

As mentioned, Apple has been dabbling in the car business for several years. This is the first time, however, that Apple has made a significant push for the car business. It also represents a new revenue stream for a company that has watched its growth plateau a bit over the last few quarters. Whether this develops into a lucrative new business remains to be seen.

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Many Carmakers Want In

Apple has done a fine job of attracting carmakers to CarPlay. The company says that several brands, including Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, will be integrating CarPlay into their 2014 models. Others will be following in future models. Apple hasn't said when the subsequent launch will occur, but if not this year, expect 2015.

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It Forces Customer Hands

Does the CarPlay move force the average car buyer's hand? Apple's service is designed to be integrated with the iPhone, which means Android users won't be able to get the same experience. If someone buys a car with CarPlay in it, would they be more likely to buy an iPhone? Apple certainly hopes so.

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Will Samsung Respond?

One of the companies hoping CarPlay doesn't force car buyers to get iPhones is Samsung. That company is arguably Apple's chief competitor in the mobile space and is rumored to be working on some in-car systems to take on the iPhone maker. Expect Samsung to accelerate its deployment of any CarPlay alternative.

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What About Google?

As with iOS, Google might see an opportunity with Apple's CarPlay. As noted, CarPlay requires the iPhone if users are to get the full experience. Google, meanwhile, has an Android-based alternative, dubbed the Open Automotive Alliance, that's open source and will work with all kinds of devices. Google's platform-agnostic focus might just win in the car business.

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This Could Hurt Nokia

Much of the talk about CarPlay has left out one key player in in-car infotainment systems: Nokia. For years, that company has been providing mapping solutions to many carmakers around the world. If Apple has its way, its Maps will take over. Let's see how Nokia responds to that.

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Siri Is Central to Everything

The interesting thing about CarPlay is that Siri is central to the entire experience. Apple has cast that as a good thing, but those of us who have played around with Siri know that the voice-command system has a long way to go to achieve the ideal. If Siri adds annoyance to an already stressful exercise in driving, customers might be railing against CarPlay, rather than celebrating it. Fix up Siri, and fast, Apple.

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Again--Integrated Services Win the Day

Apple's CarPlay is designed to work seamlessly with the company's line of services, including iTunes, Messages and Siri. That proves once again that the companies that can deliver integrated services that marry hardware and software will ultimately attract the most customers. That's how Amazon and Samsung have done it in mobile, and it's why firms that rely on third-party platforms are on the outskirts of the mobile space. Service integration means everything in today's technology industry.

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Developers Need to Rethink Experiences

Apple says that third-party apps will be supported through CarPlay. That means that developers will now need to rethink their own development processes. Software makers will need to determine how to make their apps as hands-free as possible while realizing that in some cases, users will be using their services in-hand. CarPlay presents a host of new challenges to developers.

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Apple Is Hitting All the Marks

Although there might be a sense at first blush that Apple has been able to sign deals only with high-end carmakers, like Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, the company has actually struck partnerships with brands across the price spectrum. That's a smart move. CarPlay might look like a differentiating, high-end feature, but for it to be successful for Apple, it needs to hit cars in all price points and attract the highest number of customers. Without broad adoption, CarPlay will fail.

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