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Is Apple Interested In Competing With Google's Open Automotive Alliance?

Is Apple Interested In Competing With Google's Open Automotive Alliance?

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is getting a lot of buzz for creating the Open Automotive Alliance, but Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry doesn't expect Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to follow suit.

"Apple has no interest in the car market," Chowdhry told Benzinga. "Not really. That [does not] fit their business model."

Chowdhry said that Siri, the prized Apple feature being touted by manufacturers, is not in vehicles natively. Automakers simply provide a way for iPhone users to connect to the vehicle and take advantage of certain iPhone features.

Google's auto initiative has only just begun, but Chowdhry thinks that the search engine giant is moving in the right direction.

"I think it is the right approach if you think about where we are going," said Chowdhry. "We are going to a connected world. But I don't think it includes self-driving cars yet. I think that is still a completely different ballgame."

Google And Audi's Rumored Alliance

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google and Audi were developing an in-car entertainment and information system.

That report proved to be partially true. In addition to Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA have also joined the Open Automotive Alliance.

"[An] Audi and Google alliance has been [in place], I think, for the last four years," said Chowdhry. "Audi was the first manufacturer to put Google Maps in its cars."

Chowdhry added that there is a market for everything -- it simply depends on who Google wants to target.

Related: Google Might Team With Audi To Supersede Apple's In-Car Initiative

"Google's strategy has always been open," he said, adding that Google is a mass volume business. "Open API, open platform, software is free. It is all about getting paid on a transaction or getting paid on advertisements."

In order to achieve mass volume for the auto market, which Chowdhry said is an order of magnitude less than smartphone and PC sales, Google had to make it open.

Samsung's Creative Alternatives

Chowdhry didn't have any opinion of Samsung (which has yet to announce its latest plans for the car sector), but at least one other analyst has high hopes for the South Korean tech giant.

IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung Woo told Bloomberg that he thinks Samsung will develop windows made of transparent flat panels. In doing so, automakers could deliver maps and other information without reducing the driver's visibility.

Woo also speculated that Samsung might use sensors to monitor the health of drivers and passengers. Those same sensors could be used to automatically choose a song based on the driver's mood, while other censors could detect heavy traffic and offer a different route.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Apple AudiAnalyst Color News Rumors Analyst Ratings Tech Media Best of Benzinga


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