Monday, February 25, 2013

Ford focuses on in-car entertainment

Jeremy Green, telco strategy analyst, Ovum

SPAIN: “Ford's offerings at MWC 2013 were less exciting than its announcements at last year’s event. The company made three announcements this year: a new SUV for Europe – the EcoSport; a global partnership with Spotify to integrate its services with Ford's SYNC AppLink voice-control platform; and three new infotainment content partners.

“Ford led with its EcoSport compact SUV, heralding it as one of its first European cars to use the SYNC AppLink system. Its developer program for the voice-control solution was launched at CES 2013 and boasted 2,500 developers after four weeks. Not a bad start, but the ecosystem will need further support before in-car applications become mass market.

“However, having Spotify on board will undoubtedly boost Ford’s in-car profile. The music giant’s 20 million users will no doubt appreciate the announcements, although how many of its users will be able to afford a SUV (or even influence its purchase) will limit adoption. The other partners announced (Kaliki, Glympse, and Aha) look to be interesting content add-ons, but again are unlikely to sway the purchasing decision.”

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