Aftermarket consoles could kick-start the auto app market


MacRumors has picked up on a report from the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei that Alpine plans to introduce a standalone aftermarket console that will support Apple’s CarPlay, enabling users to retrofit their vehicles with the iOS-based integrated offering. The console is likely to be the first aftermarket device to support CarPlay, according to the report, and will be available in the U.S. and Europe later this year for $500 to $700.

It may seem obvious that the market for automotive apps will grow far more slowly than the smartphone app market has because consumers buy new cars far less often than they buy new smartphones. But aftermarket consoles will allow consumers to access those apps without shelling out for a new car, which could lay the foundation for dramatic growth in the car app market. Those aftermarket consoles will have to be well designed and easy to use, of course, and the price point will likely have to be substantially lower than $500 to gain mass-market traction. If aftermarket consoles met those criteria, the market for automotive apps will grow more quickly than you may think.

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