One reason CarPlay works so well is Apple’s strict certification process, but that process is also wreaking havoc with car audio shipping timetables.
Apple requires about six months for a product to pass CarPlay certification, according to Apple documentation. And if a hardware flaw is found in the process it can cause further delays of up to three months or longer, said industry members.
Another source of delay is the need to apply for exceptions to the rules, which is often the case for aftermarket car radios, as Apple may have rules tying CarPlay to car functions that the aftermarket can’t control, said suppliers. Each exception must be approved, which can take weeks.
Kenwood’s 2016 radios are two months behind their scheduled release date in March and Harman’s JBL radio is behind by three months. Industry members say the suppliers are simply waiting for approval from Apple and/or Google (for Android Auto approval).
Also JVC’s first CarPlay unit has not yet shipped and is due this month. Dual says its Jensen CarPlay radio is due in October.
Apple has a 6-step certification process according to industry members and Apple documentation.
Suppliers must submit USB quality signal test results and CarPlay “Self-Certification” tests to Apple that cover features including the user interface, and audio acoustics. From there, the certification process generally requires at least six months, said the Apple document.
Test bench results are also required that test speakers, Siri, microphone, all CarPlay hardware buttons, and the display. Suppliers must also provide a test vehicle to Apple with the supplier’s CarPlay radio installed in the dash for final testing.
Suppliers said Google’s certification process for Android Auto is similar in many ways. Some say it is equally stringent and others say it is slightly less so.