Will automotive app stores be the next iTunes?

A growing demand for app development kits like the "Sync" platform for Ford vehicles, brings up the possibility of online app stores for cars and in general.

07/29/2011


Ford recently announced it had received more than 2,500 download requests for its app development kit for the “Sync” infotainment platform. It’s not only Ford who seem to be jumping on the app bandwagon, with Toyota, BMW, General Motors and many more also releasing or getting ready to release infotainment apps for their next generation of cars.

One thing that has puzzled me about this interest in apps, is how many relevant, practical, safe and usable apps can there actually be for the use in a car – especially while driving? Furthermore, do consumers really want to spend their time downloading apps to their car and, more importantly, will they be willing to pay for them?

A recent consumer survey published by IMS Research put these questions to consumers in the U.S., the UK and Germany, with some interesting results. First, 80% of respondents stated they would only pay $5 or less for an automotive specific app – already the idea of huge revenues seems slim. Second, only 54% of respondents rated the concept of downloading an app for their connected head unit as attractive, making it one of the least attractive connected services that was presented to them.

However, don’t take my comments the wrong way, I certainly understand the value of automotive apps, and do think they provide a great opportunity to allow manufacturers to keep up with new developments and offer new services over the life of the car, all without forcing the consumer back to a dealership for an upgrade. They also present a way to maintain a relationship with consumers after they have purchased the car – providing the manufacturer hosts its own specific app store. However, it seems unlikely that in five years’ time there will be 200,000 apps available for the next Ford vehicle.

So, while apps present a great marketing and customer satisfaction tool for vehicle manufactures, are they going to offer the potential for a swathe of highly profitable automotive app developments? It looks unlikely to me.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.