Tablets Start Replacing RSE by 2013

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Let’s not panic as there are no actual statistics behind this statement. But IHS iSuppli analyst Mark Boyadjis says that by next year or early in 2013, tablet PCs should start having an impact on the rear seat entertainment market.

tablets entering the automobileBMW already offers a number of accessories for tablets in the rear seat, he points out. And eventually, Boyadjis says, “I expect tablets to BECOME the RSE system.”

From aftermarket suppliers, he expects to see headrests offered with a built in slot for a tablet plus some additional electronics and hardware to accommodate them.

We expect that will happen eventually, but we point out that the 7-inch tablet, which is most suited to swap out for a  headrest monitor, isn’t quite setting sales records at the moment.

The 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook and 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, two of the star tablets in that screen size are not setting sales records. Last week RIM announced it shipped about 500,000 PlayBooks since launch 3 months ago. And Samsung said it shipped one million 7-inch Tabs globally but there is much suspicion that Samsung didn’t get the sell-through to consumers in the U.S. that it hoped for.

Apple meanwhile has sold 25 million iPads in the 9.7-inch format, but that size is a bit wonky for the car.  CEO Steve Jobs went on a rant last October about the inferiority of the smallish 7-inch screen size and said don’t expect a 7-inch iPad any time soon.

Soooo, we’re just sayin, that the 7-inch tablet in the car may not happen overnight, unless we see smaller iPad from Apple.

We’ve quoted Kenwood’s Keith Lehmann in the past saying that he hopes the aftermarket develops kits which include a professional installation component for these devices. So do we.

Source: IHS iSuppli

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  1. This is inevitable. Rear seat entertainment has been in a downward slope for a while, and tablets are going nowhere but up. There are even SKU’s targeted at youth demographics. As those prices come down, the trend will become more clear. Mounts, streaming interfaces, and accessories will be our ticket in.

  2. Since 1994, when I entered this industry with EX2 Mobile Electronics, I’ve seen aftermarket GPS navigation go from $2000+ to $100 or less for a portable that can be used in any vehicle, even in your hand. And now they wirelessly connect to the internet.

    The internet was too slow and coverage was horrible for in-vehicle consideration but now smartphones, tablets, laptops and aircards bring everything-internet to any moving vehicle most everywhere. And wireless devices have gotten much faster, more powerful and all are portable.

    The ME industry needs to be much more aggressive and creative in placing tablets and smartphones in-vehicle with a serious sense of urgency because not too long from now the automotive OEMs will slowly take this business just as they have done with audio and basic visual entertainment.

    In addition to approximately 75+ million tablets sold this year smartphones are becoming king. A well-known prominent research company estimates that US sales of smartphones will grow from 67 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011 becoming the highest-selling consumer electronic device category. There’s no reason this phenomenal growth and billions of dollars of revenue shouldn’t be shared by ME professionals.

    ME retailers, installers, distributors and expediters can even sell these products with little or no expense. It just takes the desire to be a part of the soon-largest and fastest growing CE category.

  3. @SCI– that’s the same mentality that got the aftermarket into trouble with the iPod. We need to be forward-thinking and realize it’s the consumers’ needs and demands we must answer to; not our own.

    As more content is pushed into the cloud, and tablets become the source for multimedia, entertainment, and social connectivity, it just makes sense that the consumer will want the tablet integrated into their car, in the front or in the rear, in some form or another.

    I’m honestly shocked that more aftermarket companies haven’t been forward-thinking about tablets… It would only take a simple HDMI or Mini-HDMI connection on a modern headrest or overhead screen to adapt a tablet into the car (or an Android phone for that matter). Add a USB charger and you’ve got a tablet-friendly solution.

  4. I am in the aftermarket, I would not want my Ipad in my car or any tablet, because of heat, nor do I want to keep taking it in and out of the house, and in the car, and then out again. I just want something in the car, thats it.

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