Parrot is in the news this week for aiming to become a Tier 1 supplier to the auto companies with its Android-based car radios.
A report from Reuters notes that the Bluetooth kit and radio maker has invested “millions of euros” in Android car radios. Its aftermarket version, called the Asteroid, was introduced late last year and Parrot has sold between 20,000 and 25,000 units to consumers. (The retail price is $349 at Crutchfield).
Parrot is betting its early to market position on Android will help it compete with other big OEM brands such as Harman, Pioneer, JVC-Kenwood and even Garmin and TomTom.
Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics told Reuters, “Because they embraced [Android] early, they certainly have some advantages in terms of their experience in working with Android and apps-based platforms in a system in a car.”
Parrot, a $312 million company based in France, faces stiff competition as suppliers vie for the rapidly growing OEM infotainment segment.
Sales of infotainment systems to car makers are expected to hit $36 billion in 2016, up from $23 billion in 2011, according to Strategy Analytics. If you include the aftermarket, sales should hit $47 billion by 2016.
Parrot has already won contracts with 2 un-named car companies for its Android car technology, it told Reuters.
In Q4 Parrot will release three new aftermarket Asteroid products including a double DIN version of the Asteroid.