Car tech: Not just a Google vs. Apple story
Google is expected to announce a partnership with automaker Audi for new in-car technology, according to recent reports, expanding the battleground between its Android operating system and Apple's iOS.
The announcement, expected at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, according to The Wall Street Journal, follows Apple's announcement this past summer that it plans to make"iOS in the Car" a key focus in 2014.
But Google is likely to come out on top because of its operating system's flexibility and Apple's rigid app approval processes, according to Allison Partners tech expert Jeremy Rosenberg.
"The customization that Android allows for in-car entertainment [and] navigation systems will probably start to allow them to do more with Android than iOS, which is traditionally more locked down," he said.
(Read more: Apple 2014: Don't call it a comeback)
But it may not be a Google versus Apple story for long, Rosenberg added.
"There's going to be some exclusive jockeying of contracts and whatnot for a couple of years, but I think eventually it's going to get to a point where it's going to be a lot more of a 'bring your own device' approach, where each automaker is going to have to find a way to allow the customer to bring to it what they want," he said.
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Honda already make vehicles that can integrate iOS devices, and GM's MyLink connects cars with smartphones running Android. But about half of the cars capable of integrating smartphones will have iOS in the Car by 2018, dominating all other smart phone integration systems, according to ABI Research.