Market research firm Telematics Research Group (TRG) reports that almost 50 percent of 2007 automobile models sold in the United States will sport iPod integration. The firm calls iPod integration “the most sought after feature” by new car shoppers.
iPod integration is way, way up for 2007, according to TRG’s data. TRG reported that only 12 percent of ‘06 vehicles featured true iPod integration, while nearly 50 percent of ‘07 vehicles have the capability. Nearly 60 percent of ‘07 models feature some form of auxiliary input to allow iPods and other devices to connect to the car’s stereo.
Other trends the company has uncovered show that support for MP3 and WMA-encoded audio is up for 2007 — from 61 percent in ‘06 vehicles to 75 percent in ‘07 vehicles. Eighty percent of ‘07 models will feature some form of “branded audio” — that is, optional or standard stereo equipment manufactured by a premium brand, such as Harman/Kardon, Bose and Boston Acoustics.
TRG predicts that USB connectivity in automotive entertainment systems “will gain considerable support” in their next generation, along with hard disk drives. Last year, no cars sold in the US featured a built-in hard disk, but in 2007, six models have hard drives. Hard drives in vehicles are being used for navigation and music servers.