Physical audio connectors in cars have been replaced in many instances by Bluetooth streaming technology as part of a trend that is likely to continue, reports IMS Research.
The analyst explains that Bluetooth has proved popular among motorists as a means of streaming music from devices directly to their in-car speakers.
However, networking technologies with more widespread applications could soon overtake Bluetooth as the protocol of choice.
For instance, the analyst notes that the 2010 Audi A8 is due to incorporate its own wireless hotspot.
This could enable mobile computing equipment with wireless local area network support to stream music over the network connection, rather than requiring a physical link to audio connectors fitted in the car.
By 2017, six million internet-enabled vehicles are predicted to be on the road, up from 2009's figure of little more than a million, with demand for downloadable applications among the driving forces behind in-car uptake.