Android in Cars: Should Apple Worry?

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The Fool headed out to Vegas to check out the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. With more than 3,200 exhibitors, including 88% of the top retailers in consumer electronics, the CES is the place to be to see what's coming up in tech.

One of the biggest announcements at CES 2014 was Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Open Automobile Alliance -- with General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , Audi, and others -- to put Android systems into cars. Will Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) be left out in the cold?

Thanks to an uncanny ability to identify key trends in technology, David Gardner has established a market-thumping track record. Investors have seen a slew of storylines coming out of CES 2014, but the real challenge is recognizing where the opportunities truly lie. Click here to get David's latest thinking on where you should be invested to profit on the future of technology.

A full transcript follows the video.

Eric Bleeker: Hey, Fools. I'm Eric Bleeker, joined by our tech analyst Evan Niu, and we are at CES. We have been going around the automobile exhibit; there's actually some fantastic technology here.

Evan Niu: A lot of cool stuff.

Eric: Some you would not have said, let alone five years ago, but maybe the biggest announcement is, we're looking at the potential platforms that can dominate cars. Obviously, Apple had previously made a splash with that, and Google at CES has made its own splash. Walk me through, basically, Google's announcement and what it could mean.

Evan: Sure. On Monday, Google announced they're launching the Open Automobile Alliance, which is very similar to back in 2008, when they launched the Open Handset Alliance to kick off Android as a platform. At the time, back in 2008, no one really paid much attention because they didn't know what it was, but obviously two years later Android really blew up in a big way.

Now, Google is announcing this automobile alliance, with GM, Audi, a handful of other carmakers -- and also NVIDIA  (NASDAQ: NVDA  ) is the big chip partner here. The real goal here is obviously to get Android into cars, which has some pretty crazy potential.

As an investor in Apple, myself, I'm actually a little bit scared, because Apple's strategy has always been to piggyback on the phones, and tether any type of integration on the car side to a phone, because Apple's certainly not going to put iOS into a car directly, because they don't make cars!

But that's exactly what Google's going to be going for, and I think Google has more opportunities in terms of actually powering the infotainment center inside the car, and that's something that -- just philosophically -- that's not a strategy that Apple's going to go after, so I'm a little concerned for how Apple's going to get in the car.

Eric: Yeah, definitely. You know, with Google there are still a lot of unknowns. When we ask these car companies to comment, the only comment we've been getting is "No comment."

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2014, at 11:20 AM, Mrr82 wrote:

    Why doesn't anyone do their research? You should be asking will android be left out in the cold. Apple already is working on more car agreements than Android is, and already had incorporated it into GM. This isn't a new is way behind and poorly positioned. This is a high end market, apples bread and butter. Android dominates low end, and there won't be a lot of people looking for it who buy S4's.

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2014, at 1:53 PM, secularinvestor wrote:

    SIX MONTHS AGO Apple announced that they were working with the following auto manufacturers on iOS in the Car and Siri: Mercedes, Honda, Nissan, Ferrari, Chrysler, Kia, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover BMW and Toyota i.e. most of the world’s major makers.

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2014, at 10:54 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    The difference between the Apple approach and the Android approach is, as was eluded to in the piece, where the "smarts" reside: with Apple, it will be your phone, with Android, it will be in the car. For customers, the Apple approach is clearly better (provided their phone is an Apple device) because it is simpler. No need to upgrade the car with the latest OS patch; no need to install apps in yet another device - the car this time!

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Evan Niu

Evan is a Senior Technology Specialist at The Motley Fool. He was previously a Senior Trading Specialist at a major discount broker. Evan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a CFA charterholder.

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