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Embedded Infotainment Systems & Bluetooth

The migration of Bluetooth for music streaming into the automotive and portable navigation markets is increasing automotive Bluetooth adoption. In fact, this wireless technology is set to account for 94 percent of in-vehicle communications system shipments by 2013, according to a new Strategy Analytics report.

Over the last 12 months, key product trends were emergence of audio streaming via the Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Bluetooth integration on embedded automotive infotainment systems and an increase in portable navigation devices offering Bluetooth hands-free functionality.

"Audio streaming using the Bluetooth A2DP profile is a key current trend in wireless and portable device markets. This trend is now starting to migrate into automotive markets, led by Japanese system suppliers in the aftermarket," according to report author, Clare Hughes, Global Automotive Practice.

Car makers, including Fiat, Ford and Toyota, are also offering embedded infotainment systems that support Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming.

Widespread automotive availability, strong consumer demand and regulatory push have also provided a strong platform for rapid growth in automotive Bluetooth option take rates, but there are significant underdeveloped automotive Bluetooth opportunities.

Strategy Analytics estimates that in 2006 only 5 percent of new vehicles produced in North America had embedded automotive Bluetooth functionality compared with 11 percent of European new vehicle production.

However, promotion of Bluetooth as a new vehicle option is rather weak at the car maker and dealer levels, and optional pricing is high compared with aftermarket hands-free solutions.

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