With in-car sound specialist Alpine looking set to bring CarPlay support to existing automobiles following a report on Monday, it now appears as though rival Pioneer will also be offering something similar. In line with speculation that hit the blogosphere shortly after CarPlay was introduced alongside the iOS 7.1 software update, Pioneer will offer a CarPlay-facilitating update to a select group of its more recent in-car systems.
We’ve heard a lot about what CarPlay will be able to offer new production cars, but there’s been a fair amount of ambiguity with regards to those in ownership of existing automobiles. With the reports of Alpine offering CarPlay support later on this year, today’s announcement from Pioneer is the first official word we’ve had from any company on the matter, and it won’t be long before software update adds Apple’s in-car flavor of iOS to currently available Pioneer setups.
Pioneer’s NEX receivers will be the first recipients of the dash firmware update at some point in the summer, and if your car is kitted out with on of the five different NEX consoles currently available, then you will be able to enjoy CarPlay very soon indeed. The product identification numbers for the compatible receivers include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, and also the AVH-4000NEX. Prices range from $1,400 for the AVIC-8000NEX to a mere $700 for the lower-end AVH-4000NEX, and given how the starting price point of Alpine’s solutions are expected to fall in between the $500 to $700 price bracket, competition will be very fierce.
As noted by Ted Cardenas, Pioneer’s marketing VP of car electronics in the U.S., the aftermarket multimedia systems will "give many iPhone owners the ability to add CarPlay to their current vehicles," and with many just relieved that they won’t need to go out and buy a whole new car in order to enjoy CarPlay integration, it will now be intriguing to see how the respective configurations of both Alpine and Pioneer will stand up against each other.
Pioneer is considered among the foremost manufacturers of in-car ‘infotainnment’ systems, and with a seemingly strong interest from the public in Apple’s CarPlay in general, it will be interesting to see whether Pioneer can capitalize and grab a large chunk of this emerging market early on.