CarPlay becoming pivotal purchase priority for new car buyers

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 13
As smartphones near peak saturation in developed markets, new data suggests in-car infotainment systems like Apple's CarPlay are quickly transitioning from a nice-to-have option to required feature for new vehicle buyers.




According to a Strategy Analytics report published Thursday, consumers are showing increased interest in, and satisfaction with, smartphone mirroring solutions, namely CarPlay and Android Auto.

The firm surveyed 100 CarPlay users and 100 Android Auto users to obtain a better understanding of average usage rates and satisfaction levels for each technology. On the whole, users with access to the iOS and Android systems enjoy the ability to access phone data from their car's built-in infotainment console.

Collectively, over 85 percent of users were either somewhat or very satisfied with their system. Further, more than 90 percent said they are very likely to recommend the solution to others.

Derek Viita, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, notes smartphone mirroring solutions could push infotainment features higher up on the list of car purchasing priorities.

"One out of four consumers who completed our survey said they would not be at all likely to consider a vehicle without a mirroring solution; while more than half would not be at all likely or somewhat unlikely, to consider one," Viita said.

In one-on-one consumer loyalty comparisons, Apple appears to have a slight edge over Google, with 34 percent of CarPlay users saying they rely solely on the tech for their in-car infotainment needs. Another 33 percent said they use CarPlay most of the time, while a mere 4 percent depend on embedded solutions provided by car manufacturers.

By comparison, 27 percent of Android Auto users rely on Google's infotainment functionality.

The story is slightly different in the case of navigation. The survey found 32 percent of CarPlay users and 33 percent of Android Auto users rely entirely on smartphone-connected features, but a significant portion still use built-in OEM functions. With CarPlay-enabled vehicles, 14 percent of owners use embedded solutions all of the time, with another 10 percent saying they use those same systems most of the time.

Navigation has been a weak spot for Apple since it debuted an in-house mapping service with iOS 6 in 2012, a product that replaced Google Maps integration. At launch, customers complained of incorrect positioning data, poor routing and issues with the product's marquee Flyover feature. The problems prompted CEO Tim Cook to issue an open apology to customers, and reportedly led to the ousting of former iOS chief Scott Forstall and Apple Maps head Richard Williamson.

Apple has made marked progress on Maps during the ensuing years, employing a "ground truth" team to fix inaccuracies and integrating a variety of tools to enhance the navigation experience. Major features like oft-requested support for public transit directions debuted in iOS 9, while iOS 10 opened the service up to developers with official app extensions.

In any case, the survey suggests CarPlay's bread and butter remains quick and easy access to phone, messaging and entertainment features like Apple Music, Podcasts and third-party content streaming services. Usage of speech recognition services like Siri, a key component in Apple's Eyes Free driving safety tech, is also "strong" across both sets of users, the report said.

Carmakers began integrating CarPlay, and subsequently Android Auto, into their products years ago, but adoption rates have picked up in recent months as longtime holdouts including Toyota and Mazda add the technology to their respective lineups. Even motorcycle manufacturers are jumping on board, with Honda's latest Gold Wing offering CarPlay compatibility.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
     I could easily get a 2018 Subaru Forester right now at a good price but it doesn’t have CarPlay. So I’ll  wait and pay the higher price for the 2019 model that will have it. 

    peterhartAnilu_777bshank1983robin huberwatto_cobrakingofsomewherehotjony0
  • Reply 2 of 50
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 125member
    You can lump me in with those that won’t be purchasing a new car that doesn’t offer Car Play. That and Bluetooth, it’s really nice having your phone show you on Maps where you parked just in case you might have forgotten or like my girlfriend terrible with directions. 
    TomEStrangeDayswatto_cobrakingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 3 of 50
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,364member
    As buyers getting more informed about the convenience of Phone connectivity to car infotainment like CarPlay and Android auto, they switching there loyalty to who ever offers. Even mighty Toyota realized and rushed to support in there 2019 RAV4,Corolla HB,Avalon and more. I would never buy new vehicle without CarPlay/AndroidAuto because I keep car for at least 10 years. I don't want to drive another 10 years or more without good Phone-to-car connectivity like CarPlay.
    edited April 12 zeus4231983watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 50
    I have a 2015 Toyota RAV4 without CarPlay. At one time I called Toyota to see if it could be retrofitted. They said no. So my 2015 SUV couldn’t so what my 2000 Honda could do - read me my texts and emails off my BlackBerry. I’d have to buy a higher-end 2017 model to get that on my iPhone. Wtf Toyota?! My next vehicle will definitely have CarPlay. I’ll be looking for a well-established brand that fully supports it, not reluctantly. 
    TomEwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 50
    I waited several years to get a new Prius to see if they'd get CarPlay.  I finally gave up and got a Volt (and I'm so glad I did).
    tokyojimuAlex1Nminicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 50
    bshankbshank Posts: 120member
    bluefire1 said:
     I could easily get a 2018 Subaru Forester right now at a good price but it doesn’t have CarPlay. So I’ll  wait and pay the higher price for the 2019 model that will have it. 

    Same. It’s good timing since the 2019 Forester will be the first in the new every 4 year redesign
    bluefire1robin huberwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 50
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 339member
    Yup. My Prius is 16 years old and I’d like to get a new one, but no way am I buying a car without CarPlay. 
    watto_cobrakingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 8 of 50
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,071member
    Only thing I don’t like about CarPlay is not having Google Maps. For me, it’s still far more accurate with the hundreds of miles I drive per week. 
    friedmud1983
  • Reply 9 of 50
    chasmchasm Posts: 512member
    Only thing I don’t like about CarPlay is not having Google Maps. For me, it’s still far more accurate with the hundreds of miles I drive per week. 
    Google Maps is of course available as an app on your iPhone, so you should be able to use it. It is of course not the native app for “hey Siri” use, but it should be accessible if you prefer it.

    I’ve never (not once) had accuracy issues with Apple Maps, but my driving is generally (but not exclusively) restricted to major routes, big cities, and first-world countries to be fair. I’ll also add my voice to those who say their next car must have CarPlay in it or no sale. That is the second priority on my list, in fact (behind only “must be a hybrid or electric”).
    edited April 12 Alex1Nbonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 50
    friedmudfriedmud Posts: 135member
    Just bought a new car in November.

    CarPlay was a must: but you should know that not all CarPlay screens are equal either.  In my testing the Ford implementation was way beyond the competition: biggest, clearest screen, most responsive and best sounding.

    I ended up with a fully loaded Ford Edge Sport - and I can definitely say that the seamless CarPlay played into that decision (as well as the car being all around excellent).

    On a recent trip I had a rental car that was a 2017 Toyota Highlander: and I couldn’t even believe how dated everything was.  There wasn’t even a “Siri Button”: just some dumb built-in voice assistant that was terrible.  Everything about the car was rubbish: but by far the “infotainment” system was the worst part.

    Pretty funny to see Toyota scrambling to put CarPlay in their cars now.
    Alex1Nwillcropointwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 50
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,024member
    friedmud said:
    Just bought a new car in November.

    CarPlay was a must: but you should know that not all CarPlay screens are equal either.  In my testing the Ford implementation was way beyond the competition: biggest, clearest screen, most responsive and best sounding.

    I ended up with a fully loaded Ford Edge Sport - and I can definitely say that the seamless CarPlay played into that decision (as well as the car being all around excellent).

    On a recent trip I had a rental car that was a 2017 Toyota Highlander: and I couldn’t even believe how dated everything was.  There wasn’t even a “Siri Button”: just some dumb built-in voice assistant that was terrible.  Everything about the car was rubbish: but by far the “infotainment” system was the worst part.

    Pretty funny to see Toyota scrambling to put CarPlay in their cars now.
    I bought the 2015 Edge Sport (bright gold) in 2016.  As much as I love the car, the only one sticking point with it was the lack of CarPlay.  FordSync2 is such a bastard child of Ford, and it's no surprise it's created by Microsoft.  My mom purchased the 2016 Edge which has CarPlay and the difference is night and day.

    Lucky you.  There's actually an upgrade by 3rd party that essentially installed a 2016 Edge unit into my car, but the price is over $2K and will most likely void my warranty.  The market is definitely there.  Ford did a disservice to here to prior owners.  If Ford comes out with a Ford-stamped CarPlay upgrade for my year, I'd jump on it.  
    Alex1N
  • Reply 12 of 50
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 803member
    Toyota seems to be the major CarPlay holdout. Maybe I feel this way since I just bought a RAV4 hybrid to replace my fiance’s Prius. The tech is nice in the top trim Limited. Great cameras. Great nav.

    But just reading the music on my iPhone required a long indexing process that didn’t complete during our test drive. I assume this is a one-off step that isn’t required every time I connect my phone, but i haven’t felt like trying again since the issues during the test drive. 

    If this were my daily driver, the lack of CarPlay would be a dealbreaker. But she loves it. It will be my turn next car :)
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 50
    Alex1NAlex1N Posts: 7member
    I have to say that having CarPlay is NOT a major influencing factor in my choosing a car: mechanical reliability and finish are. That isn't to say that CarPlay isn't a desirable feature for us: it is. It's just that it didn't affect our recent purchase of a Toyota Camry.

    Having said that, I usually drive a 2002 Mazda with no smartphone connectivity whatsoever, so I have to admit that I'm not missing anything.

    It is a real puzzle that Toyota hasn't come to the party*, however, given the rather woeful 'entertainment' 'system' in last year's Camry. And as for 'ToyotaLink', check out the App Store reviews of that little software marvel.

    In reference to Polymnia's comment above, the onboard system did in fact successfully read the song content on two iPhones and one Samsung.

    * After reading the comments above, it appears that they have finally.
    edited April 13
  • Reply 14 of 50
    I use my iPad + Google Maps, which is still the gold standard for navigation.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,735member
    I know my next new car purchase will not only include CarPlay, but wireless CarPlay. Having an inductive charging pad/holder will be a bonus, but that's always easily remedied with an inexpensive, after-market solution from Amazon.
    indiekidukwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,735member
    LukeCage said:
    You can lump me in with those that won’t be purchasing a new car that doesn’t offer Car Play. That and Bluetooth, it’s really nice having your phone show you on Maps where you parked just in case you might have forgotten or like my girlfriend terrible with directions. 
     I thought the "where you parked" feature was built into iOS for iPhone several years ago.


    edit: Yeah, so long as your iPhone connects to your automobile via BT it's been there since iOS 10 and the iPhone 6.

    edited April 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,735member
    friedmud said:
    Just bought a new car in November.

    CarPlay was a must: but you should know that not all CarPlay screens are equal either.  In my testing the Ford implementation was way beyond the competition: biggest, clearest screen, most responsive and best sounding.

    I ended up with a fully loaded Ford Edge Sport - and I can definitely say that the seamless CarPlay played into that decision (as well as the car being all around excellent).

    On a recent trip I had a rental car that was a 2017 Toyota Highlander: and I couldn’t even believe how dated everything was.  There wasn’t even a “Siri Button”: just some dumb built-in voice assistant that was terrible.  Everything about the car was rubbish: but by far the “infotainment” system was the worst part.

    Pretty funny to see Toyota scrambling to put CarPlay in their cars now.
    I'd like to see better testing of this side of things.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 50
    It is definitely a no.1 priority for me.
    Then is a efficient engine.
    Large interior .

    Until I buy my one , I will use Uber.
    If Apple introduces a car, I will definitely look at that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 50
    adm1adm1 Posts: 727member
    I often play music on spotify at work then when I enter my car, the bluetooth automatically connects and the spotify app continues playing the same playlist - CarPlay for me isn't viable until it's Wireless and auto-connects upon entry. I don't want to have to take my phone out every time, let alone have to plug it in! I barely have time to put my seat belt on, let alone faff with a phone.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    It used to be a priority for me until I tried it in a rental and realised its a bit of a gimmick and it would be more sensible to choose a car based on more traditional factors.
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