The cassette went away, so did 8-track. CD’s time may be at hand.
“Consumer use of compact discs is declining significantly and we think that by 2015 or 2016, there will be little consumer demand for CD players in cars,” said Bob Schumacher Delphi general director of advanced development of electronics & safety in an email. “Just as with 8-tracks and cassette tapes, technology is moving beyond the CD to new digital media systems.”
Sales of compact discs have been falling for at least 8 years. In 2008, CD sales sunk by 19 percent, according to NPD. In 2007, sales dropped about 20 percent in dollar volume.
Not everyone thinks the shift away from CD will be as cut and dry as Delphi.
“We are not as aggressive as Delphi with our forecasts,” said iSuppli. “It is true that by 2015 we would say that some segments in some regions will be mechless [CD-less]. But we would not claim that all vehicles selling from 2015 would be mechless. Optical has peaked already and the decline has begun however this is a slow decline,” said analyst Phil Magney.
Pioneer’s Andy Parsons noted that there are more than 200 billion CDs in use, and that’s not counting DVDs. “We think that the huge installed base of disc-based packaged media will need aftermarket support for the foreseeable future, probably well beyond 2015. Successful [older] formats can persist for a surprisingly long time — you can still find a couple of in-dash cassette players in our lineup, for example”
About 4,000 in-dash aftermarket cassette players sold to consumers last year, according to NPD.
Source: CEoutlook and Wardsauto
Photo of an 8-track cassette radio in a Ford via stationwagonforums.com