ABI Research: Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ to be No. 1 in-vehicle system by 2018

ABI Research forecasts that the shipments of connected in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems equipped with one or more smartphone integration technologies will grow substantially during the next five years to reach 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, 43.6% will be equipped with MirrorLink, 49.8% with Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, and 28.2% with other technologies by the end of 2018.

Developments in the smartphone world are revolutionizing consumers’ in-car expectations. Besides Internet connectivity itself, the ability to select apps whenever they choose is probably one of the IVI features that consumers value the most. “Car OEMs face the difficult challenges of not only how best to integrate smartphones into their vehicles, but also how to ensure that the integration strategy remains viable throughout the life of the vehicle and multiple generations of smartphones,” comments Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research, in a statement.

There are numerous technologies available for integrating a smartphone into a car’s head unit and enabling it to be controlled via the car’s IVI system (via voice, head unit touchscreen, or steering wheel controls). These range from industry standards such as MirrorLink to proprietary technologies such as RealVNC, Abalto Technologies’ WebLink, and Apple’s recently announced “iOS in the Car”.

Then there are UI screen replication technologies such as Miracast and MHL which are ideally suited for high bandwidth applications such as video streaming to rear-seat entertainment displays, and which could in the future also be used by MirrorLink, RealVNC, etc.

“It is inevitable that consumers will demand to be able to use their smartphones in cars, even in luxury cars equipped with the latest top-of-the-range fully embedded infotainment systems. However, OEMs producing lower-end mass-market cars will probably invest significantly less on developing their own systems and rely more on smartphones-centric infotainment solutions,” continues Owen.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Automotive Infotainment Research Service which provides analysis of key developments and trends in the marketplace and quantitative information via its extensive car infotainment database. Updated on a quarterly basis, the database provides detailed installed base and forecasts of the car infotainment market by type and region as well as detailed information and forecasts on Bluetooth penetration in cars, automotive apps, and automotive operating systems split by global region.

Source: ABI Research

Related articles:
General Motors adds Apple’s Siri Eyes Free to more vehicles following ‘remarkable’ customer response – October 16, 2013
Hidden contacts revealed within Apple’s iOS in the Car – August 8, 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. Any manufacturer who isn’t already doing it or does not already have plans to integrate iOS into their model vehicles will lose sales. I don’t expect to see this in the Korean knock-offs. I’m sure Samdung will pay them dearly. And I can only hope Google isn’t integrated, I don’t need them following my every move and getting paid by my insurance company to feed them information. (Apple, please make sure its Siri search and not Google).

    The european manufacturers have already been doing it and after much failure, US manufactures are waking up (well except Ford) and the Japanese are Apple people so you’ll see it more and more in their vehicles.

    But you never know, JD Power might think differently and recommend Yugo’s with Android integration because it’s cheaper.

  2. I’m a Jeep person. The UConnect that came with my Jeep basicly sucks. No SIRI, can’t get my iPhone to work through the speakers when in GPS mode, speaker on the phone doesn’t work because of the Bluetooth. I want and expect better. Hopefully, when my current lease runs out in another year and a half, they’ll have something better.

  3. Note to the Apple car integration folks and the Maps folks, too: In a trip to Europe, I found my rental car had a useful feature I wish were on my car’s navigation system here in the USA. The car’s map display indicated the current road’s speed limit. To check the road’s current speed limit, all I had to do was glance at the car’s map display. The speed changed appropriately through work zones and with regular changes in road speed. It put me at ease while driving on unfamiliar highways and roads. And the feature may have helped avoid speed-trap tickets via camera. (Got 2 on previous trips, despite my philosophy of driving within the limit, especially in foreign countries.) This is a really useful feature for any car navigation / mapping system.

    1. My Garmin GPS displays speed limits, and, yes its helpful. Also displays your current speed. The database does not include speed limits for every road nor for work zones, but definitely enough to be very helpful. I look for it in any GPS that I buy.

  4. From a performance standpoint, iOS is already the best system in a car. It’s just not permanently mounted in the car.

    IMHO, the best implementation of automotive electronics is a robust dock for your iGadget. Permanent integration with an automobile offers little or nothing to benefit automaker or consumer — it only increases costs for both, to satisfy the beancounters’ imaginary profit motive of selling consumers on thousands of dollars of electronics to replace the devices they already carry in their pockets/purses. What a complete waste.

  5. I have no doubt that IOS has been No. 1 in cars for some time, they just haven’t been plugged in to the car system yet.

    Battery isn’t a concern, I just leave the screen on all the time, because I plug my iPhone into a power cord whenever I get into the car.

  6. I agree. It was shocking to me how limited and seemingly out of date the voice recognition was in my new 2014 Prius.

    Of course, a lot a smarts comes from being a connected device like iOS but there still could be a huge improvement with integration of more Siri-like smarts in the car systems.

    I found it just as distracting trying to figure out what voice commands were acceptable as it was trying to touch the screen to active those commands. Car entertainment is one area where natural language interaction would go a long way in reducing driver distractions.

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