Reuters: ‘GM Plans to Phase Out Apple CarPlay in EVs, With Google’s Help’

Joseph White, reporting for Reuters:

General Motors plans to phase out widely-used Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies that allow drivers to bypass a vehicle’s infotainment systems, shifting instead to built-in infotainment systems developed with Google for future electric vehicles. [...]

GM’s decision to stop offering those systems in future electric vehicles, starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer, could help the automaker capture more data on how consumers drive and charge EVs.

The above sentence reads like a throwaway line, but I’m wondering if this bizarre decision has something to do with tracking users in a way that CarPlay defends against.

GM is designing the on-board navigation and infotainment systems for future EVs in partnership with Alphabet Inc’s Google.

Google, makers of many well-known popular consumer electronic devices.

The decision to phase out CarPlay smartphone projection technology is a setback for Apple Inc in the competition with Google to capture more real estate on vehicle dashboards in North America. GM’s Chevrolet brand in the past boasted of offering more models with CarPlay or Android Auto than any other brand.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say this is less of a setback for Apple than it is a setback for GM, whose decision makers seem to be utter dolts. Last year at WWDC, while previewing the next generation of CarPlay, Apple said that 97 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. supported CarPlay, and, more strikingly, 79 percent of new car buyers wanted it. I emphasize new car there because I asked Apple about that number, because 79 percent is way higher than the iPhone’s overall phone market share in the U.S. The answer is kind of obvious: the average iPhone user has more money than the average Android user, so amongst buyers of new cars, iPhone owners have very high share. And they really want CarPlay support. So GM is telling all of them to go buy cars from other brands. It’s enough to make you wonder whether GM’s EV division is being run by a mole planted by Ford.

It’s worth pointing out that this decision by GM is only about EVs, not gas-powered cars, but still. It seems incredibly stupid, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it reversed.

Sunday, 2 April 2023