Here’s a small update on when aftermarket retailers can expect to see Apple’s new CarPlay system that makes it easy to use an iPhone with a car radio for navigation, music and communication.
Pioneer said it is just waiting on certification from Apple for a firmware update that will allow 5 of its new Pioneer radios to work with CarPlay. It expects approval this summer and Crutchfield’s web site gives a time frame of early summer.
Also, Alpine told us this week that it should have a CarPlay ready radio by early fall.
Consumers are beginning to ask dealers about CarPlay as a feature in aftermarket radios.
Jim Warren of 50-store chain Car Toys, WA said, “It’s really getting a lot of buzz. We are already getting calls for the product from consumers. Salespeople are excited and we’re all eager for the software release. I believe CarPlay will be a great second half boost to the business. We are awaiting additional information on the Google solution, but the preliminary information looks exciting as well. I’m pleased that the consumer electronics industry is setting the standard in lieu of the automakers.”
Mehdi Narimanian of 3-store Sound of Tri-State, DE says he has customers anxiously awaiting the Pioneer update for CarPlay. “We sold quite a bit of the Pioneer NEX 4000 that doesn’t come with navigation. [But it is CarPlay ready so it can get Apple navigation once the firmware update is available]. We made a lot of promises to our customers.”
CarPlay is gaining momentum on the OEM side as well. Audi recently said it will offer the feature in its cars, in 2016 for the US, joining about 5 other car makers offering it this year and next year (Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Ferrari, Honda and Hyundai). Also 9 car makers including Audi, recently announced they will support the feature. These include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Mazda.
For Android fans, Google also recently showed a version of CarPlay, which it calls Android Auto. It is winning support from many of the same radio makers and car makers supporting CarPlay.
Aftermarket companies that have joined the alliance to support Google’s in-car Android Auto system include Pioneer, Alpine, Clarion, Harman, JVC Kenwood, and Parrot. Car makers that will offer it soon include Audi in 2015, Hyundai in the 2015 model year, Honda in 2015, Volvo, and reportedly General Motors.