Top 12V Suppliers Abandon This Feature

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Pioneer Electronics is the latest company to drop MirrorLink, scrubbing it from its 2016 line of AV radios, after making it a prominent feature in 2015 (available on 7 models).

Alpine stopped supporting MirrorLink this year, after offering it on a single radio.

JVC also no longer supports MirrorLink, moving instead to an HDMI/MHL connection for mirroring Android phones onto the car radio.

Pioneer said it dropped the feature due to a lack of compatible smartphones in the US. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have the ability to support it in the future, but there’s a cost associated with it and …it made more sense to take it out,” said Pioneer’s Ted Cardenas.

Industry members said MirrorLink is more popular overseas where more compatible phones are available. This is true particularly in emerging markets such as China, India, Turkey and others, said Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics.

He noted, “Car companies with large emerging market footprints (Fiat, VW, Renault, Skoda) have a good excuse to implement MirrorLink…though it will likely never see explosive success.  And to the extent that maintaining the APIs become a burden for the car makers or for developers, it could EVENTUALLY disappear.”

The only car companies to offer MirrorLink compatible radios in the US is Volkswagen and Honda.

Android Auto has already replaced MirrorLink as the natural option for mirroring your Android phone to a car radio and controlling it from the radio, said several industry members. Also MHL/HDMI connections can perform some of the same functions.

Sony, which supplies some MirrorLink smartphones and tablets, said it continues to support the feature on some of its car radios.

MirrorLink is a car radio standard that allows your car radio screen to mimic your smartphone’s screen and controls, so there’s no need to touch your phone once it’s connected to the radio. It began reaching select aftermarket radios in 2011/2012.

Source: CEoutlook

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