In-car infotainment market records steady growth

15 May 2008

In-car entertainment and information systems are expected to raise US$39.8bn in revenue in 2008, up 7.9pc from US$36.98bn in 2007, iSuppli Corp has claimed.

The figure is a combination of global combined OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket revenue.

“Much of the automotive market is playing catch-up, with many car makers this year seeking to upgrade their infotainment systems to match Ford’s SYNC technology,” commented Richard Robinson, principal analyst for automotive electronics at iSuppli.

“Automakers also are playing cost-down–and are pressuring their tier-one electronic systems suppliers to come up with innovative solutions that reduce costs and boost feature sets.”

In 2007, automotive infotainment systems revenue rose by 13.5pc over 2006.

Portable navigation devices (PNDs) were the strongest-growing segment in infotainment in 2007, with revenue rising 54.4pc compared to 2006.

However, storm clouds are gathering over the PND market, with questions arising over whether profitability can be maintained amid a freefall in selling prices and a wholesale bailout among investors due to profit warnings and slowing sales, said iSuppli.

While global PND market revenue growth will slow in 2008, it is still expected to come in at a robust 18.2pc.

Revenue from head-unit shipments rose 6.9pc in 2007, with the vehicle OEM sector in particular demanding higher feature specifications and more integrated designs. Revenue growth in this area will slow to 5.6pc in 2008.

Based on direct survey input from silicon suppliers, iSuppli estimates 18pc annual growth in 2007 for automotive infotainment-oriented, application-specific semiconductors, such as application-specific standard products (ASSPs) and programmable logic devices (PLDs).

Automotive infotainment semiconductor revenue as a whole is expected to rise by 8.5pc in 2008.

By Niall Byrne