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In-car entertainment market set to boom

New research suggests market for in-car devices to grow by almost 50%.

The increasing popularity of portable music and video players and the development of new wireless communication technologies is transforming the automotive ‘infotainment’ market, according to new research from US-based industry analyst iSuppli.

The company found that the arrival of these technologies was forcing vendors to rethink their strategies in the market and prompting them to develop in-car entertainment systems that supported downloadable content.

The report claimed auto makers are embracing connectivity as a means of bridging the gap between cars and the new-generation of consumer-electronics products.

It argued that the simplest way these companies can accomplish this “is by supporting the most widely-accepted protocols: wired USB and wireless Bluetooth”.

“These connectivity gateways are set to generate a major market for both consumer electronics manufacturers and the automotive industry, while giving consumers what they have been demanding from their automotive infotainment systems,” claimed the company in a press statement.

iSuppli predicted consumer desire for connectivity, as well as for the support of new delivery formats, will see the global automotive infotainment market grow to be worth US$53.8 billion in 2012, rising from US$38.3 billion in 2006.

The figure below and attached presents iSuppli’s predictions for the global automotive entertainment systems market until 2012.

“Many newly-enabled technologies in automotive infotainment will be driven by opportunities created by silicon suppliers,” said Richard Robinson, principal analyst for automotive electronics at iSuppli.

“These suppliers will see their revenue expand to nearly US$7 billion by 2012, up from US$4.1 billion during 2006.”

iSuppli argued that “traditionally conservative auto companies such as Ford and General Motors” would begin to offer digital connectivity solutions in 2007 with an aggressive rollout of the technology involving all vehicles by 2008.

“These companies are moving forward with connectivity solutions primarily because of the growth potential that they see in the automotive infotainment market. These measures have also been prompted by of fear of being left behind by their competitors,” iSuppli argued.

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