• Determine which makers offer the models with touch button controls to FM transmitters compatible with iPods and iPhones
• Find out which vendors are enhancing efficiency to offer you better value
• Discover which suppliers serve world’s leading brands such as Dell, Samsung and TCL.
China produces an estimated 60 to 70 percent of the world’s car MP3 player and FM transmitter output. The country shipped more than 20 million car MP3 players and FM transmitters overseas in 2007. North America and the EU are the largest export markets due to their mature car industries and high acceptance of digital audio technology.
Output from China makers is expected to increase by more than 10 percent in 2008 as worldwide demand for in-vehicle audio products continues to grow. Many companies are likewise expected to expand their capacity in anticipation of the increased demand.
China has a supplier base of more or less 50 makers. Most suppliers are OEM-oriented with the majority of their sales generated from exports. The industry is relatively small compared to others in the country as most makers regard car MP3 players as a secondary product line. Not many new makers are expected to enter the line due to increasing production cost and escalating price competition.
The following are some of the key trends we see in China’s car MP3 player industry:
• Export prices are expected to rise in 2008 as a result of rising raw material and labor costs. Intense competition among suppliers, however, will limit price increases to within 5 percent.
• The quality of China-made car MP3 players will improve in the coming months as suppliers place greater importance on quality control and minimize defect rates.
• Future releases will have sleeker designs — featuring touch button controls, metallic cases and water resistance. More FM transmitters compatible with iPod and iPhone series will also be released.
• The majority of suppliers will raise their production capacity by 20 to 50 percent mainly by upgrading their existing facilities.
• More suppliers will also enhance efficiency by automation and simplifying their production processes as part of their effort to manage increased labor cost.
This report covers the two main types of in-vehicle audio electronics from China: car MP3 players with FM transmitters and standalone FM transmitters. Makers generally offer both types of products although some specialize in only one product type.
Common features of China-made car MP3 players include LCD or LED screen, USB interface, MMC/SD card slot, WMA playback, 206 FM channels and 12V to 24V DC car cigarette lighter power source. Standalone FM transmitters generally come with frequency of 87.5MHz to 108MHz, earphone jack, LCD screen and 206 channels. They can be powered by car cigarette lighter or batteries.
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