OEM (original equipment manufacturers) rear-seat entertainment shipments have only reached an estimated 2.9 million in 2014. Furthermore, aftermarket devices have not fared too well either; shipments in 2014 are estimated to be 3.5 million globally.
However, there is hope that this stagnant market will prosper once more in the form of bring your own device (BYOD) i.e. tablets, smartphones, gaming devices, and other portable media players.
Consumers have moved on from DVD and Blu-ray players and therefore so too must rear-seat entertainment.
Going forward the majority of passengers will use their own smartphone or tablet devices in the back of the car rather than pay for an expensive embedded in-car solution.
Therefore, OEMs must embrace BYODs through either an accessory such as a mount or look to bundle OEM-branded devices with their new cars to add additional value.
At CES 2014, Audi demoed an Audi-branded Android device which was designed to be more robust for in-car conditions and will be integrated somewhat into an Audi car.
The tablet can use the car’s 4G/LTE-powered hotspot to access the Internet via Wi-Fi and passengers can download and use any of the apps available in the Google Play store.
Good examples of OEMs offering tablet mounts include: Mercedes with its iPad Rear Seat Integration Plus, as well as Jaguar and BMW with the introduction of an iPad holder for rear-seat passengers.
Filomena Berardi, senior analyst at ABI Research, said: ?BYODs open up the market to new user-groups and segments, when previously rear-seat entertainment was targeted at small children. However, holding a device in ones hands could prove fatal in a car crash and therefore OEMs need to develop solutions that are both crash resistant and user-friendly.?