For many retailers, Apple CarPlay is a hot feature, even at radio prices of $600 or greater.
But not all consumers can afford the higher price tags so several car stereo makers are planning new CarPlay radios at $399, including, we learned, Boss Audio.
Boss’s CarPlay radio is currently in the Apple certification process, said VP Sales & Marketing Doug Kern. And because of the uncertainty of that process, Boss is not promising delivery until 2017.
Boss joins JBL and Jensen, which announced $399 CarPlay radios at CES. JBL’s radio was originally due to ship in February but has been held up in Apple certification.
Dual Electronics’ Jensen model is due in the second half. Dual’s Joanna Lukins said, “It won’t be the beginning of the second half.”
Boss is also considering offering Android Auto in the future but it will not be available on the initial CarPlay model.
The Boss CarPlay unit will be mechless (no CD or DVD) with a 6.2 inch capacitive touch screen. It will also offer Bluetooth audio streaming.
Jensen is planning two CarPlay models at $399–one single DIN and one double DIN–the VX4014 and 4024, respectively. The radios also include HDMI and work with an optional WiFi dongle so Android users can get wireless mirroring of apps. They also include SiriusXM capability.
JBL’s Legend CP 100 also include Android Auto. It is a mechless radio with a 6.75 inch capacitive touch screen, AM/FM tuner with station and song ID and Bluetooth 3.0 (HFP, AVRCP) for audio streaming. It uses what JBL calls a leading edge iMX6 processor for “one of the fastest responding interfaces on the market.”
CarPlay is Apple’s version of iPhone software for a car radio. It offers simple, touch screen and voice control over music, messaging, mapping and navigation from a car radio connected to an iPhone, with an interface that Apple users will easily recognize. Android Auto is a similar technology for users with Android phones.