The number of automotive apps downloaded in cars will increase to 4.3 billion in 2018 — from around 12 million in 2012 — generating revenues of $1.67 billion.
This is a modest growth considering the fact that connected cars — with platforms such as GM’s OnStar and Ford’s SYNC — have been in the market for several years.
ABI Research noted car companies have struggled to generate revenues from monthly subscriptions. Car OEMs now increasingly see infotainment as a key differentiator in their cars.
Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research, said: “We predict a sharp growth in the adoption of connected car infotainment systems over the next few years, with apps being the main driver, as for the iPhone.”
The research report says several open source systems are vying to become the de-facto technology for downloading apps in the car.
The battle for domination of the automotive app space will be among car OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and major technology companies like Apple and Google.
ABI Research on Monday said there will be a sharp rise in Bluetooth in cars driven by growth in adoption of connected car infotainment systems. Consumers already use their phones extensively to listen to music or connect with social media sites.
The report says as Bluetooth becomes more prevalent in cars, they will be able to make hands-free calls, listen to Pandora or Spotify, or check their Facebook accounts in their vehicles, or on their phones, in a completely seamless manner.