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ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that the number of automotive apps downloaded in cars will jump from around 12 million at end of 2012 to 4.3 billion at end of 2018 generating revenues of US$1.67 globally.
"Car OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] now increasingly see infotainment as a key differentiator in their cars," says Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research. "We predict a sharp growth in the adoption of connected car infotainment systems over the next few years, with apps being the main driver, as for the iPhone."
With several proprietary, open standard, and open source systems vying to become the de-facto technology for downloading apps in the car, the battle for domination of the automotive app space is heating up, as car OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, plus behemoths such as Apple and Google maneuver to capture the biggest slice of the automotive app cake. ABI Research also expects a sharp rise in Bluetooth in cars driven by growth in adoption of connected car infotainment systems.
Consumers already use their phones extensively to listen to music or connect with social media sites. As Bluetooth becomes more prevalent in cars, they will be able to make hands-free calls, listen to Pandora or Spotify, or check their Facebook accounts in their vehicles, or on their phones, in a completely seamless manner.