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I need a car, so let's go buy a cell phone

Absurd! Any number of times you read it. How can 'I need a car, so let's go buy a cell phone' ever make sense? But times are changing with rapid technological advancements and so is our outlook towards life's accessories. And what better example of that, can one find other than one's car and cell phone. They are arguably the two largest social statements for folks around the world. In an earlier era, it was probably just the car that made a social statement. But today, the car that you drive and cell phone that you carry define who you are in today's digitally categorized society. But how are the two even related to each other? We typically use a cell phone to call our friends and to surf the internet whereas the car takes us from Point A to Point B. Let's see how the two will converge very soon.

In our fast paced lives, digital connectivity is playing an important role of not only creating a new economy but also redefining our perspective on traditional 'things'. A 'connected car' is much more than just a 'car' and a 'smart phone' is much more than a 'cell phone'. Technology companies like Apple and Google have realized the immense potential in the marriage of these two and is one of the prime reason you will find these two giants foraying into the car space with integrated solutions that will eventually change the way how you perceive a car. Many people do not realize this, but one spends more time looking at the 'insides' of a car than the external shapes & contours. Hence the car experience judgment is bound to be more skewed towards what one perceives as an experience sitting inside while driving rather than the external design beauty. Given not much has happened to enriching the internal experience (barring a few luxury brands), it was an opportunity to be tapped for Apple and Google - the masters at understanding what consumers want.

Apple has CarPlay and Google has launched Android Auto. Essentially, these technology companies are bringing in a new experience center for drivers. Once you plug an Apple or Android phone into the car, the display unit on the car dashboard gives you an Apple or Android experience. The display unit of the car turns into a feature rich extension of the phone and the experience turns from an unattractive car display head unit into a sleek and contemporary smart phone display. Extending the smart phone experience to the car dashboard is the digital change that Apple and Google are bringing in and it will cause disruption in the sales and marketing strategies of prospective car buyers. Of course, this is going to be available on select brands and models only but this is just the beginning where your smart phone has started taking over your car through a simple integration at the display unit layer. However, what it also means is that the compatibility of your car and your smart phone is soon going to define the experience that you intend to have in your car. It makes life simpler with a single consistent digital experience across multiple personal assets. Which brings us back to the title of this blog.

You now know why that smartphone became so relevant to your car purchase decision. How exciting can that be?


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