The Auto Industry’s iPhone Dilemma – To Connect Or Not?

Cars are practically computers on wheels these days with in-car navigation systems, touch screens, hard drive, media players, remote start system, rearview cameras, voice recognition, park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane depurate warning, regenerative breaking, rain sensing wipers, and even cars that can use cameras to stop by themselves. There’s an overwhelming amount of technology in new 2013 vehicles, and the technology has come to all manufacturers, and isn’t limited to luxury brands. These auto companies have spent millions in research and development for these advanced technology systems, and many come in extra technology packages for a few thousand dollars more in addition to the base model price.

The iPhone offers a ton of technology packed in as well, and there’s a large amount that directly ties to the in-car features listed above. Your iPhone can provide turn by turn GPS navigation, voice recognition, remote start system with apps, media player, and of course touch screen. Therein lies the dilemma the auto industry faces as they decide how much a car should connect with your iPhone. The iPhone’s features have pushed some manufacturers to include similar functionality, and even deluxe intelligent connectivity for Siri integration, audio playback, and app connectivity. Still though, the auto manufacturers need to decide how much to depend on iPhones and other smartphones for their in-car technology.

As stated above, these auto manufacturers have spent millions to develop the new technologies incorporated into their latest vehicles, and they charge extra for them. An iPhone user could simply rely on their iPhone in a base model, and not pay the exorbitant cost for the technology packages that auto manufacturers really like to sell. Rather than adjusting to a new system for voice, touch, GPS, and media playback you can simply use your existing iPhone to do all those things. In fact, the in-car options become redundant if you do have an iPhone.

Some manufacturers are investing on intelligently connecting with the iPhone to enhance their offerings as to not be fully replaced. It’s definitely a tough dilemma for auto manufacturers, and they need to decide how important it is to incorporate iPhone features through their own methods, or simply use the iPhone instead. New car features like apps, touch screens, and voice recognition aren’t on par with Apple’s offerings, and those accustomed to that standard could be less than satisfied with the in-car option. It comes down to a monetary balance, and it will be interesting to see what auto manufacturers decide over the next few years as the proliferation of smartphones steadily increases.


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