European Car Owners Love Google and Apple

Smartphone use in vehicles continues to rise quickly in almost every major global market. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are rushing to support this trend, incorporating new designs and technologies into their products. According to research by IHS, more than 85% of those people in the UK and Germany intending to buy a new car own a smartphone.

A survey was conducted by IHS Automotive of 4,000 vehicle owners who intend to purchase a new car within the next 36 months. These owners were divided between the UK, USA, Germany and China.

Results from the UK and Germany were “very similar”, said IHS’s Colin Bird, although not identical. “Consumers in these countries rely on their phones for in-vehicle connectivity and use a variety of apps while driving”, he said.

Samsung smartphones were the most popular types among new car intenders in Germany, owned by 49% of respondents. Apple was second at 21%. In the UK, ownership of Samsung and Apple phones was almost equal, with Samsung just edging out its American rival (34% to 33%). UK respondents also showed the widest variety of smartphone brand ownership.

Operating systems were also varied. 67% of German consumers were Android users, compared to 21% of iOS. Android also led in the UK, with a market share just over 50%, compared to 30% for iOS.

UK drivers overwhelmingly (more than 80%) said that using a smartphone is distracting while driving, compared to 75% in Germany. Voice controls for smartphones while driving were favoured by 60% of UK drivers – but 80% of Germans. More than 60% of respondents, in both markets, said that they were happy to interact with a phone through an in-vehicle touchscreen or steering wheel controls.

About 65% of respondents in both countries said that they had used their phone as a navigation device while driving. Audio streaming popularity was 65% in the UK and over 70% in Germany.

83% of respondents in the UK said that they had a data plan, compared to 60% in Germany. IHS believes that German consumers rely more heavily on Wi-Fi networks, suggesting that embedded connectivity could be of more value in cars in the country.

60% of UK respondents, and 55% of German respondents, said that they would prefer an infotainment system designed by Apple or Google.