Apple`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`s Android gadgets.
Combine that with the new "Eyes Free" feature - where drivers talk to Siri with the tap of a button on steering wheels - and analysts say the iPhone has the potential to disrupt the car electronics and navigation market.
Using smartphones for directions and music is not new. In-car navigation systems have been on a steady decline as more and more drivers prefer to use the mapping service in smartphones, particularly Google maps.
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."
The integration is a win-win for both the carmaker and Apple, said Scott Corwin, vice president of Booz & Co`s automotive practice.
"The manufacturers are tying themselves to something that has a very positive impression with customers," he said. "For Apple, it helps to solidify market leadership with this technology."
Apple tweaked several features in its mobile operating system on Monday, enhancing its ecosystem and bolstering its arsenal as it tries to keep its hardware ahead of competition from Google`s Android device makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
The rivalry is shaping the evolution of the mobile industry with the two companies - once friendly - increasingly challenging the other in various sectors, including maps, voice-enabled search, apps and digital content.
BdST 2155 HRS, JUN 14, 2012
Sabbin Hasan, ICT Editor
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