This strategic analysis of app stores offers insight into a new business model that will shape the automotive industry in the coming years. The in-car app store ecosystem consists primarily of automakers, brands, platform providers, app store developers, payment integrators, and users. The study also analyzes current developments in the in-car app store, white-label app store providers, services, and technology and partnerships that are in place today, as well as likely developments that will occur in this space.

Automakers can transcend their current role as manufacturers to become technology partners by embracing digital transformation and enhancing the customer journey throughout the vehicle's lifecycle through vehicle infotainment and introducing new touchpoints by creating an app store platform. By leveraging the mobile app store and incorporating it in vehicles, automotive companies are providing a new channel for consumers to extend their digital lifestyle, which will become an important determinant of purchase. Building an app store will become an essential feature that may help truly distinguish the vehicle ownership experience. Vehicle owners who are digitally savvy will expect the same ease of use and experience found in the smartphone industry. The challenge is to identify the right tools and partners to develop the right solutions and have a positive impact on the vehicle ownership journey. This study investigates potential avenues for new customer-facing tools to pioneer customer experience and potential ways for the app store platform automotive adoption.

Secondary and primary research methods helped develop the analysis and identify opportunities. The evolution of the app store, recent OEM initiatives in the app store domain, ecosystem analysis, and future roadmap are also analyzed. The study addresses new business models, growth opportunities and recommendations for different stakeholders to envision better customer-centric decisions and integrate technology and connectivity in cars.

Research Scope

  • Decode the app store for the automotive sector.
  • Identify existing and upcoming business models offered for the in-vehicle app store.
  • Classify ecosystem players according to their functions in the market.
  • Analyze the future impact of app store data generated from the vehicles.
  • Describe the structure of the automotive app store value chain. 
  • Analyze Tier I suppliers' strategic investment in the app store landscape.
  • Map future roadmap of automotive app store.

Key Issues Addressed

  • How will a similar app store to smartphone industry be integrated in the automotive industry?
  • Who are the key stakeholders involved? What are the key partnerships that need to be built to be successful?
  • Which important factors are influencing innovation in the app store ecosystem? 
  • What are the key industry initiatives? Which participants are impacting technology development?
  • What future growth opportunities will present themselves?