Tension may rise between carmakers and Apple over iOS 7 move

Article by Anita Panait, on June 13, 2013

Apple Inc.’s move to make its iOS mobile operating system accessible on vehicle screens could result to a tension between the company and carmakers, according to analysts. Technically, once installed, iOS would control most if not all connected-vehicle features like navigation. This runs counter to what carmaker’s want, as they look to control the overall experience with their own operating systems while keeping up with the latest connected-vehicle technologies.

Thilo Koslowski, a vehicle communications technology analyst at research firm Gartner Inc., told Automotive News that Apple’s control of the connectivity features could pose some issues to carmakers as they target to use connected vehicles to define their brands and products.

He remarked that attracting partners like Apple and at the same time hanging onto overall customer experience will be “an interesting balancing act” in the auto industry. He remarked that if carmakers give overall customer experience away to “somebody like Apple,” there would not be much left for the auto industry to succeed in the connected-vehicle space.

Koslowski, however, noted that partnering with Apple could benefit carmakers by enhancing unpopular or lower-quality systems and by boosting creativity with distinct vehicle applications unavailable in smartphones and tablets.

According to Apple, brands planning to use iOS in their vehicles include Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel and Volvo. Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, said that Monday that iOS will be displayed on in-vehicle screens and allow customers to access phone features without lifting a finger. Cue remarked that drivers can direct Siri to perform certain functions like making phone calls, sending messages and accessing maps. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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