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IHS iSuppli: Tablets Show Promise For Rear-Seat Infotainment

6/16/2011 12:36:10 PM Eastern

El Segundo, Calif. -
Tablets show strong potential for rear-seat entertainment systems, according to
new research from IHS iSuppli, but they will likely not diminish the use of
smartphones in the car.

Although smartphones are
labeled by IHS iSuppli as "the preferential platform for car infotainment" due
to their GPS and media player integration, tablets have screen sizes that are
more suitable for prolonged media-consumption use.

Also, since tablets have
a touchscreen and lack a keyboard, they are really more designed for consuming
content rather than creating it, the market research firm said. Since "the
driver and passengers are usually passive with regards to incoming data,
meaning that they absorb and consume information and media, but do not create
content" ... tablets are thus ideal for in-vehicle use.  

Pricing is still a
hindrance for tablets, however. "The cost of tablets still has not reached the
sweet spot for wide proliferation in motor vehicles," IHS iSuppli said. "Nevertheless,"
it added, "competition will push prices down in the near future. This will make
tablets more attractive for use in cars."

Also, IHS iSuppli noted,
car makers will benefit from the integration of car infotainment systems. "Because
of this, many companies already are offering applications for tablets and smartphones
dedicated to the automotive segment," it said. "These have found a great
opportunity to spread quickly, taking advantage of Internet access and
communication capabilities from Wi-Fi to 2G, 3G or LTE technologies."