The New Car Accessory - The Mobile OS
JAN 17, 2014

The New Car Accessory - The Mobile OS

Google recently announced its latest venture with the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), establishing a common platform for Android integration with connected cars. They are also trying to use the same model that worked so well for them in the smart phone space. Back in 2007, Google formed the Open Handset Alliance with a couple telecom and manufacturing partners and from this project, they developed the most popular mobile platform in the world, according to IDC. Now with partners like Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA they are hoping to do it again.

This comes 6 months after Apple announced iOS in the Car during the opening keynote of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference back in June. Apple already has lined up partners in Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Holden, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Toyota, and Volvo. Looks like the Mobile OS war is on. Or is that the Mobile Mobile OS or AutoMobile OS? Someone will give it a proper name.

As the two most dominant mobile operating systems, iOS and Android are a natural fit for automobile operating systems for a tablet-like on-board smart device, but do these two players suddenly make the car buying experience become a new Apple vs Google argument? Better yet, would an Apple user be more apt to now buy an Infinity Q50 while an Android user would lean toward an Audi A6? The OS war may just spill all over the nearest car mat and be the 2015 debate - where up until now it’s just been which phones are better.

With such strong alliances to these mobile operating systems, there may also be a future where car buyers choose their car based on which software is on the local drive. Road tests may now include taking the mobile OS out for a spin, testing how well it handles your smart phone.

PS: Looks like companies like Honda and Hyundai are hedging their bets by looking at both systems for the future cars. Maybe picking an OS will be just like adding heated seats, a car starter and a leather package.

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