Apple to compete with Microsoft for in-car infotainment solutions? image

Apple yesterday announced that Siri, the voice-controlled robotic assistant built into the latest iPhone will be built into future automobiles.

About a quarter of iPhone users regularly use Siri, according to consumer tracking firm Nielsen. It’s an impressive figure given that the feature has only been available since October, and it’s only going to increase with the service’s expansion to other devices and destinations.

“We’re working with car manufacturers to include a button that will bring up Siri,” said Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software.

Indeed, BMW, General Motors, Mercedes, Land Rover, Audi, Jaguar, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda have committed to integrating the Siri app, Eyes Free, within the next 12 months.

Apple Inc’s new in-house Maps service along with free turn-by-turn navigation feature and real-time traffic updates converts the iPhone into a valuable navigation device – one of the most popular features on Google Inc’s Android gadgets. It will also include “flyover” three-dimensional images taken by helicopters hired by the company to fly over major cities.

Apple’s move to lend its technology might to connect the car to its iPhone in an easy to use manner could give a big boost to the adoption of Siri and further entice consumers deeper into its app ecosystem.

It makes the iPhones more valuable to the user, said Mark Boyadjis, infotainment analyst with IHS Automotive.

“To be able to access it hands free and eyes free in the car will be an asset and will enable the Apple device to be continually more relevant in the car,” he said. “This is an important movement forward.”

TomTom and Apple
TomTom, the Dutch in-car navigation company will provide map information to Apple. The pact between the Dutch minnow and one the world’s most famous brands was made public just hours after the Cupertino, California-based company unveiled new mapping features.

TomTom worked on its deal with Apple for around a year, according to a company spokesman, who added that it won’t affect the agreements with other smartphone makers.
The Apple deal will provide a “meaningful contribution” to TomTom’s sales and profits, the spokesman said, without elaborating.

Indeed, hares in Dutch navigation device maker TomTom NV rose 12 percent to (EURO)3.653 ($4.56) in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Apple in-car navigation solutions?
Following the latest events, the announcement of this integration between TomTom and Apple, the announcement that the company is already working with a series of large automakers – we ask ourselves : Can we expect a complete automotive solution from Apple in the near future? Something like what Microsoft offers inside Ford vehicles – the Sync System …