Samsung: Car Makers’ Best Mobile Friend?

Last week the car industry discovered by surprise that they have a significant ally in the mobile industry in the name of Samsung.

The Korean company indeed announced at the IFA trade show “Car Mode for Galaxy,“ its own smartphone interface dedicated to the driver that is replicated to the dashboard via the MirrorLink standard - or used as a standalone.

Samsung is indeed looking at keeping its independence from Google even if the company is the number one licensee of Android in mobile devices.

As an example, in the wearable market the Korean company has been consistently building its watches on the Tizen operating system instead of Android Wear promoted by Google.

Even if Samsung lost market share in the handset market in the last two years - against Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi - their smartphones are making almost 26 percent of all Android smartphones worldwide (more in Europe and in the United States) and are positioned as high-end, premium devices.

As a consequence Samsung's competition to Android Auto is a significant drawback for Google.

Car Mode for Galaxy is also a significant opportunity for MirrorLink which lacks the marketing machine behind Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto.

Samsung has been for a long time a backer of MirrorLink but until now the technology never made the headlines at a press conference and barely appeared in Samsung’s marketing. This time MirrorLink is front and center and it seems to be just the beginning.

Samsung has suddenly realized that Google was shortcutting them in the car with Android Auto. The Korean handset maker has probably been warmly welcomed by Volkswagen, too happy to keep Google at bay even if they will be also integrating Android Auto.

Good news for car makers and app developers
The fragmentation of the mobile-to-dashboard replication landscape into CarPlay, Android Auto, Car Mode for Galaxy, MirrorLink (native) is a good news for car makers that has the opportunity to regain a bit of power against the Silicon Valley's big boys.

This is also a good news for third party application developers (read our news here about HERE and Sygic) that have been kept out of CarPlay and Android Auto thus far (with the exception of music streaming apps).

Watch below the replay of Samsung's press conference, the part about Car Mode for Galaxy starts at 33:46.

Tuesday, September 8th 2015

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