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Car CD Players Not Played Out for Shoppers

Car CD Players Not Played Out for Shoppers

Don't throw that compact disc into the dustbin of history just yet. (But fax machines, wood-paneled basements and "Jersey Shore" can stay there.) Seven in 10 car shoppers still want a CD player, according to a new survey of in-market consumers by IHS Markit. And of that subset, 75 percent think Ye Olde Compact Disc Reader should be standard.

It comes as more cars ditch the optical drives necessary for CDs - a trend you also see among laptop computers, too. But "most people still want it, even though we're moving away from that," IHS Markit auto analyst Colin Bird said. Audiophiles complain of the quality lost in compression for internet-streamed music, and such formats can put a premium stereo's capabilities to waste.

CD holdouts include "a subset of more audio-centric or audiophile consumers," Bird said, but also folks who "invested a lot of money in their CD library."

That isn't the only technology shoppers still want. IHS found 4 in 5 consumers still want the venerable in-dash navigation system. That's despite 85 percent of respondents saying they own smartphones and 83 percent of that group saying they use those phones to navigate while they drive. (Smartphone connectivity and battery life are apparently high on consumers' minds: Seven in 10 want wireless charging, while about two-thirds want in-car Wi-Fi, IHS says.)

Of the 80 percent who want an in-car navigation system, the most-wanted features include real-time traffic (47 percent), dynamic routing (37 percent) and wirelessly updated maps (34 percent), the firm says.

Amid the proliferation of tablet computers, 45 percent of respondents want rear-seat entertainment systems - a small portion, Bird said, as many people don't need it. But for those who do, it's worth a lot. IHS found U.S. shoppers who wanted a rear-seat entertainment system were willing to fork over $640 on average to have a new car equipped with one; that's the most for any global region the firm surveyed. Shoppers in the U.K. and China, by contrast, valued rear entertainment at just US$388.

"While there's a low amount of total respondents that thought it was desirable," Bird said, "there's a subsection of them that are willing to pay extra for it."

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