The launch of the new iLX-107 from Alpine, the first aftermarket wireless CarPlay deck, won the kind of media attention that the car audio aftermarket has long sought.
The iLX-107 received coverage on MSN, Yahoo, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, 9to5Mac, AutoBlog and other tech sites generating a potential audience of over 92 million the week of June 29 -July 4, said Alpine, responding to our inquiry.
In a car audio market that suffers from low consumer awareness, receiving 100 million views in a weeks’ time is a great thing.
Alpine itself gained 2,000 Facebook followers during the launch and its web site traffic jumped 11 percent, it said.
The company has also increased production on the iLX-107 based on pre-orders and initial buy-in.
“We’ve seen a significant rise in orders and have increased our production capacity to meet the demand. We have a bullish forecast for the foreseeable future and expect the iLX-107 to be the best-selling 2-DIN model in our lineup,” said Steve Piceno, Marketing Manager.
With a $900 suggested price, the mechless (CD-less) iLX-107 is selling on various web sites at $699. CarToys is offering it with a free backup camera as part of its annual tent sale.
The deck automatically launches CarPlay without a cord connection to the radio. It simply recognizes an iPhone in your pocket or purse via a WiFi connection.
Industry members believe other suppliers will offer wireless CarPlay at CES in January.
Pioneer VP Marketing Ted Cardenas said, “Yes, I think we’ll see it from more suppliers at CES. Anybody that is already in CarPlay is likely to be working on it or will be soon.”
Wireless CarPlay is also new to the OEM market as it is only available on the BMW 5 Series. But industry members expect more car makers to announce availability of the feature by or at CES. Harman announced in February it is supplying wireless CarPlay to car makers.
The Alpine iLX-107 has a 7-inch screen and AM/FM radio.
The deck has a mounting depth of 5 7/8-inches (it’s a 1-DIN chassis attached to the back of the bottom half of the 7-inch screen).
It can work with an iDatalink Maestro model to retain factory features such as GM OnStar or Ford SYNC.