Research firm claims Apple is ‘too late and too limited’ to tackle automotive market

“Well known business consultant and market research firm Frost & Sullivan recently issued a report that claims Apple’s move to take on the automotive infotainment market with Siri and iOS 7 is ‘too late and too limited,'” Zach Epstein reports for BGR.

“Apple announced this past June that it will introduce deeper Siri integration with in-car systems when it releases iOS 7 this fall, but Frost & Sullivan thinks Apple’s move into the space will never amount to much,” Epstein reports. “‘If compared to other players, such as Google and Microsoft, Apple’s intention for the automotive industry seems ambiguous at large and the announcements regarding EyesFree [sic] and iOS integration is, at best, a predictable reflex reaction to being left out of the automotive OS game,’ Frost & Sullivan analyst Krishna Jayaraman said. ‘Even if exciting, the ‘iOS for cars’ comes way too late into the market.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re at least a year out before we see the fruits of Apple’s “iOS in the Car” efforts, so the jury should remain out until then, too.

Related articles:
Apple patent application reveals plans to take ‘iOS in the Car’ to whole new level – August 1, 2013
Automakers integrate Apple’s iOS in the Car to minimize driver distraction, increase customer satisfaction – July 30, 2013
Why Apple is planning aggressive 2014 launch for ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 26, 2013
Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’ – July 25, 2013
Apple has its eyes on automakers with ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 5, 2013
Ford plummets to 27th in J.D. Power vehicle quality rankings on Microsoft-developed ‘MyFord Touch’ woes – June 20, 2012


  1. Yeah, they were “late” to the smartphone market too!! How’d that turn out?? It is getting to the point that every time I open MDN and see one of these “gloom & doom” articles, I have to roll my pant legs up lest the BS overflow from my MacBook and soil them beyond cleaning!!

    1. Apple doesn’t buy the potential competition unless they have IP or talent that would add to Apple’s arsenal. Harmon obviously did have either of these things to offer. They will be road kill.

    1. Sync is actually OK. The only thing that is horrible is the voice recognition. Whenever I try to use it I wind up so frustrated I end up screaming at my car.

      Unfortunately you are forced to use voice for certain functions when the car is in drive, such as inputting GPS destinations.

      1. Ford Sync is an abomination, it’s totally useless. It’s always being criticised here and elsewhere.

        I have been delighted with a succession of Ford cars, they have been reliable, economical and performed well, but Ford Sync is so bad that I will never buy another Ford that has Ford Sync in it, which means no more Fords for me.

        Ford Sync is so bad that it turns otherwise delighted customers into ex-customers.

        1. You could always buy a model or trim level that doesn’t have sync. That’s what I did. Though I prefer my cars a bit more stripped down and raw. I don’t even like automatic transmissions.

      2. Ford had worked for 20 years to catch up to Toyota and Honda, and had become pretty darn close, beating out other American companies…. Then they added Sync.

        There was a recent article about how issues with Sync had plummeted Ford over the last few years.

        There is plenty of room for Apple.

    2. In 2011 I bought a new F-250 Diesel. I loved every aspect of that truck, except MSFT’s SYNC.

      SYNC is typical of everything MSFT touches/does: because they can, they do, and in the process make something that should be simple, overly complex and near impossible to use.

    3. From what I can tell, it appears to me thy ape isn’t trying to put iOS literally in the car, just to extend the iOS experience to the car. Think AirPlay. The iPhone or iPad is still the brain for what you are doing but that the car’s entertainment computer would be updated with an agent to allow Otto extend Siri to the hands free experience or to display remote images to the cars computer screen. That is vastly different than the argument that iOS is intended to replace the Microsoft OS already in cars. And it is very dangerous for some cars to do so. Cars use a real time operating system. Only one phone in the market has a real time operating system and for the life of me can’t imagine why any would. Just add support to the existing systems to talk to iOS and there are no risky impacts on the existing computer. It’s a win win

  2. Yes, because Google and Microsoft are SO entrenched in cars already – not.

    Frost and Sullivan should know better. Typically, they have been a decent IT analyst firm, but the market for automotive voice/touchscreen controls is nascent at best right now.

    It’s like the punditocracy debating and judging rumored not-as-yet-announced Apple products (if they ever existed at all) and dismissing them, even though they have never seen the light of day or have been touched by the know-it-alls spewing their BS.

    I never cease to be amazed that people issuing these directives from their anal canal are paid to do so, and often handsomely. Also, consider the source: Zach Epstein at BGR. On second thought, don’t bother. He specializes in two things: hate and BS. I can only hope that karma visits him someday soon.

    1. And I can tell you from experience Microsoft’s My Touch that came with my 2011 Ford Explorer is utter crap. The SUV is in the shop a 3rd time to see if they can fix it and if they can’t my wife is demanding it be replaced. I.E. the doors are closed on the car and the Doors Ajar warning comes on, you try to use the voice activation and it doesn’t work, you hit the entertainment button for the ent. menu and a cd pops out and I could go on.

      I joked with my wife that the system doesn’t like us because it knows we are a Apple family, so it just goes haywire.

  3. Bla bla. If Apple does anything in this space it will be a complete integration re-think. iOS right inside the car, controlling all the pieces that make sense. Not just gadget integration. Or slapping there name on some lameStar service or whatever.
    As for these other “players” listed – they are not even in the game since the game does not yet exist.

  4. The so called “automotive infotainment” products in the market are not getting good reviews from what I read. I own a 2013 Corvette and that system stinks! The touch screen is very low resolution and looks cheap.

  5. Apple?! Too ate? Too limited? This “research” they have done is the only limited and late information. Perhaps they should rent cars and explore the deep intergration in the automotive industey that is so Microsoft and Google. I believe they would write a one line summary of there error-“Frost & Sullivan: Apple poised, again, to remake another industry- Automotive.”

  6. I’ll be sure NEVER to hire this research firm to do work for me EVER. Clearly they are better at propaganda than searching Apple’s history of taking over “mature” markets.

  7. Microsoft’s “Sync” has been in Ford cars for six years now. I don’t know a single person who actually uses it, and literally EVERY one of my friends who even has this in their car never turns it on. And it is not for the lack of trying (or smarts); they all tried to use it, they all wanted to give it a fair shake, some of them were even excited by this supposedly ultra-cool speech technology. Now, my friends aren’t ignorant foreigners with limited English skills; they are intelligent, educated and technologically moderately proficient. The point is, the system is simply horribly implemented and unusable.

  8. Frost & Sullivan make the mistake of imagining that they know what Apple is planning and that it will be essentially similar to what currently exists. Anybody who knows anything about Apple will be able to tell them that Apple works in a different way to others and creates solutions that are innovative, versatile, reliable and scaleable.

    It takes several years to design a new car and that car should still be around in ten years time. Car manufacturers need a solution that will still be relevant in ten years from now. Google are cooling on Android, so they might not be supporting Android in ten years. Microsoft have already screwed up with Ford Sync and their recent performance with Zune, Windows 8, phones and Surface demonstrates that they get virtually everything monumentally wrong. Those two players are simply too risky to take seriously.

    Far from being too late, Apple is perfectly positioned to take the motor industry by storm. Just as with iTunes, there will be a few holdouts ( I’m looking at you Ford ! ) who try to resist getting on board with Apple, but once it becomes obvious that they are harming themselves by staying out, they will have to climb on board sooner rather than later.

  9. So saith the analysts who said Apple was late to the cell phone market.

    The great thing is that they aren’t locking in car
    Manufacturers to iOS. They are just asking them it’s an option. Car manufacturers can still create their own apps to interact with their car. They could still allow Android to attempt the same thing. The difference is that the Apple effort will nail it. The Android effort won’t.

    1. That was Ed Colligan, the CEO of Palm.

      “Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.
      “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.'”


  10. Here we go again. They said that about the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. What happened with all 3 of those products?
    Being first doesn’t mean being the best or having a product that will automatically fail. The iPod was years behind MP3 players but out sold everything on the market. The iPhone came much later as well and is now the best selling smart phone. The iPad came later and killed the competition once again. I don’t understand these people who write this stuff. It’s never to late if you have a better product and Apple has proved that time and time again.

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