[Originally posted on W3i’s Blog on October 8th 2010. Written by Ryan Ruud]
Where are the top three places you spend your time, I imagine your list looks like this: work, in bed and in the car.
Regardless of which one of those three locations you’re at, applications are a touch, flick or wipe away.
With the killer success of App Stores, apps for handheld devices clearly are on fire. But what does the future look like for apps in cars coupled with car electronics and who’s in the game?
Who better to get the answers from then the CEO behind one of the most successful auto apps in the Apple AppStore, Pete Tenereillo. Pete is the CEO of Trapster, an auto app that is consistently in the top two spots in “Navigation” for the App Store.
Rob Weber, the co-founder and Vice President of Business Development for W3i got a chance to chat with Pete at the iPhone/iPad DevCon 2010 in San Diego to discuss app distribution to cars.
Pete says there are three key players in the game of in car apps. OEM systems who build navs and try to sell them as a “part” for your Mercedes, Chevy etc.–like OnStar, AcDelco and Uniden. Think back to the OnStar campaign, “standard on every new Chevy.” The app came as is on the Chevy.
Car manufacturers are also in the game doing their own thing, but for them they just want access to the app to rebrand and repackage it. Finally you have aftermarket folks like Pioneer where consumers buy them after they own the car to be installed on their car.
“Most of the next generation OEM and aftermarket supplier nav systems seem to be based on Android, while many car manufacturers are building proprietary connected nav systems based on either standard or proprietary technology,” says Tenereillo.
Tenereillo still contends that users will only want to download apps to one device, a phone or tablet, which can then be docked in a vehicle. The apps would run from the device, rather than be stored in the vehicle. This seems to be the way Samsung also thinks the market for in car apps will go, their new tablet will also feature in car docking accessories.
“There is another whole school of thought in connected nav systems, where the car simply becomes a UI for what’s already on the phone, clearly voice commands, and maybe even heads-up display at some point,” Tenereillo says.
In the end, all of the players are facing competition from apps like Google Nav on the Droid
Ford seems to be muscling their way into the game after their announcement at CTIA 2010, that they’re inviting more development for car apps. Where will the auto/app world move to next? Having apps on one device is important, but cost is the biggest factor, sound off below.