Early on last month, Apple announced CarPlay, the final, official branding of the ‘iOS in the Car’ feature first announced last year. With the necessary software having been rolled out to iPhones via the iOS 7.1 update, we’re now awaiting the release of the first fleet of CarPlay-ready production automobiles, but while the likes of Mercedes and Volvo plan on integrating the feature as a part of the manufacturing process, specialist audio company Alpine is reportedly plotting its very own aftermarket console effort.
We already heard that one of Alpine’s major industry rivals – Pioneer – would reportedly offer CarPlay to existing cars, meaning that in order to enjoy Apple’s in-car flavor of iOS, one wouldn’t need to go out and purchase a brand-new machine. Pioneer has since denied this, but now, according to Japanese publication Nikkei, competitor Alpine is said to be planning on getting in on the act, and the device will apparently be released later on this year.
At a cost of $500 to $700, getting iOS in your car will not be cheap by any means, but compared with going out and buying a new car, it’ll definitely serve as a preferred option to many.
Alpine’s CarPlay console will retail throughout much of Europe as well as the United States, and one has to wonder, if this Nikkei report is indeed accurate, whether other car audio specialists will want to join the party. Pioneer may have been seen to be backing out of the idea, but with Alpine now reportedly interested on delivering CarPlay to those who don’t wish to go out and purchase a new car, it would make sense for like-minded companies to follow suit.
Should the Japanese newspaper’s report prove correct, then Alpine’s CarPlay support would be the very first aftermarket offering. If Apple’s in-car solution were to really catch on, then Alpine could be in for a significant chunk of a potentially lucrative market, and given how familiar millions of iOS users already are with the Cupertino’s ecosystem, it makes sense that a sizeable portion of iPhone owners would be interested by CarPlay.
Should Alpine come through with a CarPlay console, would you go out and buy it for your car? Do share your comments below!