Blaupunkt and miRoamer will announce a partnership at CES to manufacture Internet radios for in-car installation. These radios will access the Internet via an external device with a Bluetooth connection. Reportedly, this will enable people who have an unlimited data plan on an iPhone or similar device, to utilize that connection to stream content from a car radio that will connect to AM/FM or Internet radio.
Blaupunkt is a well known name in automotive stereo equipment – on their website they refer to themselves as the inventor of the car radio. miRoamer is a universal portal to Internet radio stations and audio content that apparently interfaces with different media players and wirelessly interfaces with portable devices.
The press release states that this is the first in-car Internet radio, and depending on how quickly they start to make them that may be the case – however, Delphi and AutoNet already announced plans for an in-car Internet radio as well (reported here).
This is more good news for Internet radio – as car stereo manufacturers are definitely recognizing that there’s a market opportunity for Internet radio devices and moving into the space. It could also spell the end of satellite radio – which is already in crisis because their subscription growth is so clearly tied to new car sales.