Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Telecom, has recently reprimanded company officials severely for failing to grab the opportunity to forge an alliance with Google for Android Auto.
Park said in a note posted on the company bulletin board that the reason Google teamed up with Kakao, SK Telecom’s rival, was that SK Telecom officials lacked a sense of urgency and simply let the opportunity pass by.
“Android Auto, which recently started domestic service, is not based on T-map; it uses a navigation service from another company. Google approached us first to use T-map, but we did not discuss the project seriously let the talks collapse.”
Google launched the Korean service of Android Auto, an in-vehicle infotainment system (IVI) last month. When users of Hyundai and Kia Motors cars connect the vehicles to their smartphones via a USB cable, they can use navigation, music, phone, and message apps on the car monitor.
The core service of Android Auto is a navigation service. Google requested high-resolution map data from the Korean government to provide a navigation service on its own, but its request was rejected. Then Google decided to include Kakao Navi in Android Auto, giving it the chance to catch up with T-map, the number one navigation service in Korea.
CEO Park criticized company officials and lamented the frustrating internal decision-making process. "You have to change the way you look at work. You need to think and make decisions from the perspective of the company. Please think more thoroughly to fulfill your tasks." he said.
"Without a sense of urgency and crisis, all the platforms we are working on will lose competitiveness," he said. SK Telecom has reportedly resumed talks with Google for an alliance on Android Auto.