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2012-07-24 16.00.58About a million remote start systems are sold annually with remote starters that use a smartphone continuing to increase in sales, according to a recent report from CE Outlook.

This winter season the industry got off to a slow start due to the warm weather but with recent storms in some parts of North America companies will likely show substantial numbers in the end.

As reported, at Directed we’re seeing more sales of the Bluetooth version of our Viper SmartStart.

This is a lower-cost option but one that obviously significantly reduces the range. But for people who want to leave their cars “puffing” on the driveway in the morning when it’s cold, SmartStartBT certainly is a great solution.

That may explain in fact the rise in sales.

Our thanks to CE Outlook for reporting on this.

Read more on the remote-start trends from CE Outlook here.

google_mapsThe victory for Google is official.

You can now get the Google Maps app for your iPhone for free on iTunes.

According to a recent story on the update from CE Outlook:

“Apple launched its own Maps this fall, but reviewers found it riddled with wrong directions and omissions of key destinations such as bridges and airports.

The poor reception to Apple Maps, caused Apple CEO Tim Cook to offer a public apology.”

Anyone who’s tried has noticed Apple’s map software wasn’t sufficiently Apple — which has Apple making nice with Google once again.

For now at least …

According to research firm Gartner, 35 percent of the 1.9 billion phones sold this year will be smartphones.

About half of the consumers in the U.S. have one already. (You can read that report from Reuters here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-smartphones-outlook-idUSBRE86S09B20120729.)

So it’s no wonder that the 12-volt industry is optimistic about the growth for the remote start via smartphone market. Our own VP of Product Planning James Turner joined other executives in the consensus view.

Discussing the growth of Viper SmartStart, Turner said: “We do believe it’s going to be the fastest-growing category we have.”

About 350,000 remote start kits are sold in the aftermarket each year and experts agree that smartphone remote start systems will reach a high of 10 percent of that market this year — at least! And given the rising sales of smartphones in general, that number should continue to climb in the near future.

So, get out of the way, skeptics!!!! And get on board with the cloud-connected car!

(And psssssssssst, by the way, why not get on board with Viper, who innovated and brought you the first-ever smartphone app that could start your car — and has delivered the most new features for customers ever since? Sounds pretty good to us!)

Any new Viper SmartStart features that you’d like to see, let us know in comments!

Read a full report on the growth of smartphone remote starters from CE Outlook below here:

Remote Start From Phones to Hit 10 Percent of Sales