NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Would you have bought real estate in San Francisco on April 17, 1906, had you known that there would be an earthquake the following day? Would you have bought stocks on October 16, 1987, had you known that the market would crash on October 19?
I'll let you in on a free tip: Don't buy a new car today. Or tomorrow, either. Wait at least a couple of months. There's a reason why any car you buy now will lose value disproportionately compared to a car you might buy later this year.
The reason? Apple's (AAPL) Apple CarPlay and Google's (GOOGL) Android Auto. Once consumers use these systems that integrate seamlessly with technology they are already used to, they'll never want to go back.
A bespoke in-car infotainment system is inferior to most smartphones. For starters, it's a new interface, so you have to learn something new. Even if it were designed well, you have a hard time keeping up with learning your constantly changing smartphone.
Probably the simplest thing people want to do, that they find difficult in most cars: Entering an address for the navigation system. Everyone knows how easy it is on their smartphone. Shouldn't it be as simple on your car? Of course it should, and with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay it soon will be.
Then we have the issue with updates. Car companies are notorious for slow or nonexistent software updates. If you wanted a new infotainment experience, you were better off just buying a new car. Not so going forward.
Some people will object to my thesis:
- But I don't care about Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
- But I just listen to AM or FM radio.
- But I was happy with my existing car's infotainment system.
My answer: It doesn't matter what you think about Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. What matters is what other people will think about your car when it comes time to trade it in. In a few years, will someone want to buy your car when it doesn't have the technology interface they are already used to?
But let's say you have $25,000 or $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you want to go pick up a new car as soon as possible. What do you do? Is there an exception to the rule?