If Apple introduces a 7-inch iPad, say at $399 or below, how will it impact the car stereo aftermarket?
Aftermarket LCD screens just happen to be 7-inches for many AV radios and headrest monitors.
A TomTom navigation app running on a gorgeous iPad 7-inch screen could easily replace an $1,800 in-dash navigation/radio. You could place four as yet fictional smaller iPads all over the car and still come out ahead of buying a single high end AV/navi radio.
Keith Lehmann of Kenwood says “it will be a total game changer,” and he’s glad Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated that he’s not planning on releasing a 7-inch version of the iPad any time soon.
“I’m grateful that Apple isn’t. There are plenty of great technologies that work great with the products we have now. We just don’t need this business model hitting us at this time,” he added.
Yes, there are already 7-inch tablets reaching the market. But they don’t have the market share or clout of an iPad to truly impact the aftermarket, said industry members including leading merchant Don Barros of 19-store chain Sixth Avenue Electronics.
He hopes that a 7-inch iPad would bring consumers back into the stores to see how it could integrate in the vehicle. “But we can’t survive on Apple margins. There’s not a retailer in the country that can, but the traffic is good. We hope the accessories will be what they were for the iPod. If you can accessorize it that way; if the product requires some kind of installation, that will be a good thing. If it’s a self-doer, that wouldn’t be good for us.”
Already the 10-inch iPad is heading for rear seat. Mercedes-Benz and BMW are offering headrest kits and Scosche and Rosen are planning aftermarket kits.