There is another way to look at this.
The more the car manuafacturers put into their cars, the more they expose the public to the possibility of what can be put into a car.
However now that they are awake to these new functions they may find that although they are there they may no be there in exactly the way they like and will thus to look to see what else can be done to obtain that, but something which is more flexible and configurable.
Which may drive them (excuse pun) in our direction.
There will always be a hobbyist segment of the market. For these people they like the difficulty of integrating a PC system into the car. There's also the whole retrofitting of older cars with newer technology, so the "Death Of The CarPC" is not so much a death as it is a repositioning in the marketplace and much smaller market share than it already has.
I for one, like where the market is going. I think the Head Unit as we know it death is coming, not this year but within 5 years. OEM's are finally starting to give consumers the types of products we want as far as infotainment is concerned.
I really like the Parrot Asteroid car stereo. Especially for older cars without the natural dash opening to have Double DIN units. The display is about as big as my 3.5" JVC In-Dash Navigation HU, but with way more function and with better Navigation software based on Google Maps (Parrot Maps).
Plus it has USB ports on the back for use with USB devices not just as a port for audio playback. Its way smaller too since it has no internal media drive and likely has flash memory instead of a actual hard drive or a very small SSD. If its flash memory that will keep the cost down, if its SSD, it will be fairly expensive.
Anyway, I don't think death is near, it was never really fully alive to start with. Too many people feel putting a PC in a car is far too bulky and expensive with miniaturized hardware (and specialized software). I mean try to get people to think of their PC's as replacements for their cable or sat provided DVR's and you'll get a blank look in return.
I don't know about that.
Originally Posted by Enforcer
Using the mobile space as a guide, people are doing far more with their cellphones than before. However the feature phone market is still larger than the smartphone market. Why? one reason is expense and you see that with carpc's. Another reason is complexity. Many people like Iphones because much of what made smart phones confusing to most people was dumbed down and by keeping much of the technical menus deeply buried in the UI. Android brings out all the possibilities with mobile devices but is mostly for the power mobile phone user.
Most people use the Iphone as an extension of their Ipod, in other words they use it mostly for media playback and not much else. It just happens to be a phone too = convergence
I haven't used FM in my personal car since 2008. I find heavy rotation to be teeth gnashing with too many adverts on top of it, every 15-20 mins. I have used Sirius exclusively in-car since that time. Music with no adverts and Sports/Talk with some adverts but acceptable since its a standard AM or FM transmission just piped into Sirius.
So going the next step (along with playing my own mixes) and using Pandora or Slacker in-car is the natural progression. In effect user-controlled radio, no adverts.
This will cut down on discovery to a point, one of the responsibilities of radio stations is to expose listeners to new artist and new songs. Those at the lower part of the economy and limited resources, this is who still listens to FM by default. Some have MP3 players but mostly are still burning MP3/WMA onto disc.
I can't remember the last time I burned a disc for playback. I burned one to then rip and put on the Navigations internal HD.
The knock on Google Maps with Navigation is that Map info is not kept locally on whatever device you are using. Other than that tiny fact, its superior to any gps software I have seen or used. Pretty soon you'll be able to transfer what's on Google Maps at home to your car, effectively making asking for direction obsolete. Ford is already doing that with MyFordTouch, I'm sure that Parrot will offer that in its head unit.
The only thing that a CarPC now offers is gigs of video/audio playback that frankly only come into play if you spend many hours in the car. I'm looking to shorten my commute not lengthen it and as it is now with a 25 min drive (well when I worked there) to work, I barely had time to hear 3 or 4 songs before getting out of the car.
As I said CarPC's will still have a life in retrofitting older cars.
I remember back then people were into carpc because they wanted to play mp3, there is no need for that now because mp3 capable HU is pretty common these days.
I lost interest in carpc because my phone does majority of what I need. My need is pretty basic those are : music, radio, satnav, internet, phone, some video. My phone does it all plus more.
So I would say its just a matter time when you can go to a shop buy the HU you want and be done with it. What would stay is the hacking/modding of the unit.
If less and less people use the PC route, there will be less support, less product, less everything and people would be forced to move on. Obviously all this wont happen tomorrow, next month or even next year.
I could say that niche has already been filled, you've heard of Lockpicks right?
Originally Posted by Bugbyte
These unlock features of OEM Navigation units, such as DVD playback while the car is moving address input while in motion and adding rear view cameras.
OEM's have to offer not only affordable but well-sorted systems before selling them to the public or face lawsuits.
I agree that CarPC's will always have a place in the customization market and also in the retrofit market.
The Desktop will disappear soon especially as tablets and laptops get more powerful. Desktop replacement laptops like this HP I'm typing on cost only $299.
Originally Posted by Wayne613
I really don't think you meant 8 year old laptop (2003) is still viable for anything but checking email and surfing the web at this point?
Tablets have a place for where you won't be doing much typing and you want something bigger than your typical phone. CES had quite a few phones with larger displays (4") as some of the complaints from people talking about phones like the EVO4 being too big fell on deaf ears. Then again if those hipster types stop wearing super-tight jeans they could get a EVO4 in their pockets.
Laptops need another evolution in battery technology (and energy sipping CPU's), so you can have it unplugged for several hours and still be able to complicated things on it. Just surfing the web with the screen on full bright, the battery in this thing only last about 90 mins.
I doubt laptop can completely replace desktops. This is like saying cars will replace trucks. Desktop and laptop are completely different thing.
Originally Posted by djfourmoney
If laptop and tablets get more powerful and cheaper, dont you think this would also apply to desktop? In the end desktop would still have its advantage if we are talking about home PC.
And this applies to telecommunications speeds as well.
Originally Posted by ibf
What is more likely to happen is that desktops stop being in your house. If you had a sufficiently speedy connection to a virtual machine out in server land, you could easily have access to nearly infinite amounts of power and storage. Why waste your money on a ridiculous discrete desktop that wastes your time to manage?
I still want to own my desktop in my house capable of running offline and not having to pay subcription every months.
Originally Posted by Bugbyte
I doubt telecommunications speeds could beat the internal speed of any machine.
It is still quite comparable for use as a car-pc base for most people's use. Check the year the dell xps m1710 (first gen)was released. I'm still using that 3 grand laptop from many years back now as my desktop replacement at home. And it hasn't actually come down much if it's in good used condition on ebay last I checked. Here's a review from 06 on one, sad that this old thing has 100x's better picture quality and higher resolution (1920 x 1200) then the best offering of today.
Originally Posted by djfourmoney
This is mainly because the "High def" that's now pawned to the masses is more of a throwback, I mean seriously? 1920 x 1080 max/native res as a highlight? Come on, that went backwards. Combined with using a core 2 duo, even if the NB is stuck at 32bit still. Plays the older 3d games fine, probably bite with a few of the newer releases, but fine for what I do.
The newer laptops, one Toshiba I just picked out for my mother for instance, lasts her about 6 hours off the wire now, where the old beater lasted about 40mins.
Other than to game I have not seen any point in a true desktop for years, with seriously powered mini-itx's now? Yeah, my next big home PC type purchase will be to put together my own NAS setup, rather than buying any specialized device for it, CAT5 run for the monitor.. You can have the cake and still eat it with this kind of Linux NAS/Game box setup.
Have you really looked into many of the gaming specific laptops recently? Desktop PC isn't dead, doubtful it will go out for a long bit, but it is on the endangered species list so to speak. Only a small section need full-on 3d graphics accel/res for games. Cut that sectional, who else really needs a desktop? What can't be done on a laptop from that?
Many will still beat the average put together desktop even for a gaming setup. Downsides of course, usually prime one being screen quality/resolution. As I mentioned previously, people seem to see "native 1080p", or "HD" on the sticker for it and think it's a bonus, when they're getting robbed for these laptops in the resolution department.
Since my parents don't game, their house has been PC free for years. It's router, cable-modem, simple 2 disk RAID1 NAS, and printers hooked in to the native print-server in that same spot. They both have their own laptops to drag around the house where they please. I set docs to save on it over the network, absolute 0 reason for them to have a desktop.
My own house is a bit more aggressive of course, but same basic idea. No desktop, hasn't been for 5yrs+ now I think. Think it was 04 or 5 when I got it, anyhow, it's been a long long while. ;)