US DOJ Sues Apple CarPlay for Antitrust Violations

Recently, according to reports from overseas media, the US Department of Justice filed an 88-page antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which includes the widely used CarPlay in-car connectivity system.

The lawsuit states: “The CarPlay application adopts restrictive strategies, with Apple intending to prevent interoperability with other phones, thereby further locking users into iPhone-related functionalities.”

It is worth noting that the antitrust lawsuit also mentions the next generation of the CarPlay system. The new CarPlay generation features even deeper integration with car hardware, allowing for providing content to multiple screens in the vehicle, enabling users to directly control functions such as radios through CarPlay, and utilizing vehicle data and other functions. The US Department of Justice believes that this deeper level of connectivity will undoubtedly further enhance Apple’s monopolistic tendencies.

Furthermore, the US Department of Justice also believes that CarPlay diminishes the incentive for car manufacturers to innovate, as they are compelled to share data with Apple and are unable to differentiate themselves.

Back in June 2022, Apple introduced the latest generation of the CarPlay system. According to demonstrations at the event, partners such as Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Nissan, Ford, Lincoln, Audi, Jaguar, Acura, Volvo, Honda, Renault, Infiniti, and Polestar are on board.

By the end of 2023, General Motors announced that they would abandon Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, opting to develop their own software to avoid the “distraction” issues these two connectivity technologies pose to drivers.

However, some argue that CarPlay does not necessarily equate to monopoly. Sam Abuelsamid, Chief Analyst and Vehicle Software Specialist at Guidehouse Insights, mentioned that car manufacturers still need to establish a basic software interface for drivers to adjust the air conditioning, change radio stations, or operate local navigation maps. They cannot assume that every car owner has a smartphone, let alone an iPhone; cars need to function even without a smartphone present.

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