8 Out of 10 Americans Want Apple CarPlay in Their Next Car

It's no secret—iPhone users want Apple's ecosystem on the road.

Apple

Since its initial release three years ago, CarPlay has become the new gold standard. Apple touts more than 200 models from nearly every major automotive manufacturer currently offering it. There are some exceptions but given the results of a recent study conducted by Strategy Analytics, those few unwilling to embrace Apple's car radio may not have a choice.

The study found that 23 percent of smartphone owners in the States consider CarPlay as a must-have in their next car. Fifty-six percent reported they are interested while 21 percent said they are not interested. Factors such as design, storage space and price may not matter if the car you are shopping for does not come with CarPlay. Who is not offering Apple's in-car software? It is a shortlist which consists of Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Toyota.

CarPlay is the tech giant's solution to the various, frustrating-to-use infotainment systems. It has a simple-to-use touchscreen interface that like the iPhone, just works. This is especially important as accidents related to distracted driving are becoming more common. Touchscreens are not new but as anyone will tell you, they are something no car company has been able to get right. Some, however, continue to prefer to keep things in-house.

Take, for example, Lexus. Toyota's luxury carmaker equips its models with Lexus Enform, an optional suite of subscription-based connected services. Enform has been available for several years and like most systems produced solely by a manufacturer, it has been repeatedly criticized. Over the years, Lexus has made improvements with its most recent version available in the LC being hailed as the best yet. Still, it is far from perfect and falls short compared to CarPlay or even Android Auto.

Alpine

Aftermarket head units, such as this one from Alpine, can be retrofitted into older models.

There is an underlying reason why car manufacturers have struggled with infotainment systems over the years. Simply put, it is not what they do, they engineer cars for the road. As they realize this, more are letting the software companies make the software so they can focus on the hardware.