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Aftermarket receivers compatible with Apple's CarPlay unlikely to arrive in 2014

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
iPhone owners searching for a way to make use of Apple's new CarPlay infotainment offering without replacing their current vehicle may be in for a long wait, as the system doesn't appear to be headed into aftermarket car stereos anytime soon.

CarPlay


CarPlay -- which will initially be available in new vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo -- seems to have resonated with consumers, who have clamored for aftermarket options since its unveiling earlier this month. Those calls will likely go unheeded, however, as representatives from two top-selling brands shot down reports that aftermarket CarPlay support was on the way.

Kenwood marketing manager Scott Caswell told AppleInsider that "Apple CarPlay won't be in any of our 2014 product," before noting that many current devices already offer a subset of CarPlay features like Siri support and A/V playback. Caswell suggested that Apple may be reserving CarPlay as an OEM option for automakers, a market segmentation strategy that could make some sense.

Such a strategy might allow marques such as Ford to tout CarPlay's deeper integration as an incentive to buy or lease a new vehicle, for instance, versus purchasing an aftermarket stereo system to upgrade an older model.

Meanwhile, Pioneer appeared to distance itself from recent rumors that it was working on CarPlay support following a statement from a customer service representative.

"The story was not an official statement by Pioneer and was taken out of context," Pioneer corporate communications executive Jaed Arzadon said via e-mail. Arzadon declined to provide further context.

At press time, representatives from competing brands including Alpine, JVC, Audiovox, and Sony had not yet responded to requests for comment. It seems unlikely that any "Made for iPhone"-style strategy for CarPlay would not include the participation of Kenwood and Pioneer, however, so it appears that the only way for consumers to get their hands on CarPlay in the forseeable future is to visit a local Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, or Volvo dealer.
post #2 of 27

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?

post #3 of 27
I will say I'm very disappointed if this is true... These manufacturers would have had my money.
post #4 of 27
like the ipad idea, except that it would be stolen instantly from the car unless u carried it everywhere with u
post #5 of 27

I hope it's not a question of waiting for a replacement car stereo compatible with CarPlay. I

would think the approach would be for someone to someone to come up with a QNX software package that you can load into your existing car's CPU-hard drive computer module (after wiping the car manufacturer's current crapware) and run CarPlay over top. Plus you'll need a hardware fix to get the lightning connection integrated. For older cars without a computer module already built in, installation of an after market CPU-hard drive module should be doable. With the many cars on the road in NA and elsewhere (250-million plus in the U.S., 22-milllion plus in Canada, 240 million or so in China, and so on) the financial rewards should be compelling.

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?

There are probably some benefits to using a factory head unit with deeper integration with other technology in the manufacturer's vehicle.

 

First: better antennae for satellite, cellular, and GPS reception. Second might be deeper integration with other systems like climate control, maybe programmable seat controls, rear window backup cameras, etc. Third: perhaps just having an avenue to work with manufacturers on future functionality, like some sort of collision avoidance, self-driving system.

 

Those are just a handful of quick ideas that rolled off the top of my head why working directly with the auto manufacturer would be preferable to pressing aftermarket companies to adopt the technology.

post #7 of 27

As long as Apple opens this up to the manufacturers as they did with AirPlay, the car stereo makers will be stomping all over each other to get this into their units; and as fast as they can.

But maybe Apple has some other plan?

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?

In some ways, yes, that's always an option (it's what I do with my iPhone) but CarPlay is better--and SAFER--in others:

 

- Driver-centric simpler controls, aimed to require minimum attention and minimum dexterity (this is the biggest thing)

 

- Support for the car's own unique knobs and buttons to control apps, not just the touchscreen (and not just music/audio); scrolling for instance

 

- No need to carry your iPad everywhere! And protect it from theft and temperatures. (Not an issue for iPhone users, who carry it with them anyway.)

 

- Not always easy to find a mounting solution in a good spot (but I'm up to the challenge and I want an after-market mounted CarPlay screen personally--ideally one I use with my existing non-touchscreen stereo. We'll see.)

 

- (And for iPhone users: a bigger screen. Not true for iPad users.)

post #9 of 27

If Alpine and Pioneer aren't doing it, then open it up to new companies to get the jump on them via Kickstarter.

post #10 of 27

When I look at the GPS navigation head units on Crutchfield, it appears CarPlay would replace a lot of the capabilities these units already have. Maybe the head-unit manufacturers don't feel the need to change what they already have. Most of the existing iPod integration is fairly simple to almost the same as an iPod but to do a CarPlay head unit properly, they'd have to make sure all their existing hardware actually performs correctly and that could mean a totally new device. Wait, isn't that what most people who are interested in a CarPlay head unit actually want?????

 

Start with an iPad mini and go from there. Connecting an iPhone via Lightning or BT would simply allow data stored on the iPhone to be used as well as hand-free calling. Add the necessary pre-amp and amp, which don't really cost that much compared to all the other things, and you're off and running. Yes, a kickstarter project would be nice but I wonder how many stupid patents are involved in building a car stereo.

post #11 of 27

And who buys a Benz, Volvo, or Ferrarri that isn't under 65? C'mon Audi, VW, and BMW!!

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

And who buys a Benz, Volvo, or Ferrarri that isn't under 65? C'mon Audi, VW, and BMW!!

All those "kids" with way too much money, that's who! 

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSRennie View Post
 

I hope it's not a question of waiting for a replacement car stereo compatible with CarPlay. I

would think the approach would be for someone to someone to come up with a QNX software package that you can load into your existing car's CPU-hard drive computer module (after wiping the car manufacturer's current crapware) and run CarPlay over top. Plus you'll need a hardware fix to get the lightning connection integrated. For older cars without a computer module already built in, installation of an after market CPU-hard drive module should be doable. With the many cars on the road in NA and elsewhere (250-million plus in the U.S., 22-milllion plus in Canada, 240 million or so in China, and so on) the financial rewards should be compelling.

 
The funny thing about OEM stereos is that's the first thing most people change because in most cases they suck. Aftermarket head units have always been better than the garbage most manufacturers put into their cars. 
 
Are you talking about the car's ECU (engine control unit) or the computer used in the better car navigation stereos? When I bought a 2013 Tacoma, I got the standard stereo instead of their navigation system. I believe the navigation system has a better display but mine isn't that bad. It might not be good enough to show maps but it does ok with its iPod interface. You're right, however, that it does control a whole lot of things so replacing it with a dedicated CarPlay head unit might not work since this unit would need to handle things CarPlay doesn't necessarily do. (I'm trying to think of the things it does that a normal stereo doesn't do but when you take something like the Prius system, it does all sorts of things a stereo wouldn't do.)
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

There are probably some benefits to using a factory head unit with deeper integration with other technology in the manufacturer's vehicle.

 

First: better antennae for satellite, cellular, and GPS reception. Second might be deeper integration with other systems like climate control, maybe programmable seat controls, rear window backup cameras, etc. Third: perhaps just having an avenue to work with manufacturers on future functionality, like some sort of collision avoidance, self-driving system.

 

Those are just a handful of quick ideas that rolled off the top of my head why working directly with the auto manufacturer would be preferable to pressing aftermarket companies to adopt the technology.

 

Those integrations some of the reasons why it is difficult if not impossible to install aftermarket head units in some cars today.  Possibly a motivation of the car manufacturers themselves in order to prevent replacement of the factory audio system?  Let's see if the car and stereo manufacturers will do things like making it impossible to operate CarPlay unless the car is in Park and parking brake is on, etc.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?

Depends how the radio works.  I found hardware to mount between my iPhone and car stereo using the multi CD changer function.  I control the music with my phone which is the best interface I've found.  

 

My truck has a bluetooth setup that I use with my iPhone or iPad.  The car stereo takes over the iPhone and you have to access the music thru the car stereo.  The car stereo has a hideous interface and even if I try to use the the phone, the car stereo overrides it.  It is so bad I don't even use it anymore.  I just listen to satelitte.

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post #16 of 27
This is BS. What's really taking Apple so long with all of these things? The "mystique" isn't cute, as soon as a leak gets out the competition is all over it with crap products.

And before anyone comes at me with the "at least they do it right" argument, no they haven't come out with ANYTHING lately that didn't have absurd QC issues.

Apple, stop playing games and just release the stuff already. Your bugs aren't worked out until it hits the market anyway.
post #17 of 27
Wait. I can't just get a software update to the crappy factory program that's in my GMC? How hard is that? I'd even pay for it. Heck, Adobe has software updates that go out weekly - for the same product. I'd gladly waste an hour to have it installed at the dealer to have CarPlay.
post #18 of 27

This does not suprise me at all.  The 2014 aftermarket units have most likely had their designs ready for months now and are already in production since they usually get released in spring or early summer.  These companies aren't going to try to make last minute changes to try to implement CarPlay.  New cars however don't normally get released until late summer or early fall, that gives car manufacturers a lot more time to get their systems ready to go.  Not to mention Apple seems to have been working with many of them for a while now.

 

I also don't see aftermarket companies trying to come up with upgrades to existing units.  I don't think I have ever heard of aftermarket car stereo companies providing major updates like that after a unit is released.  Usually it is hard enough to get a lot of them to release updates to fix known bugs in the software.  Why would they want to come up with an update for their units that they would either give away or maybe charge a small fee like $100 for, when they can just try to get you to install a new head unit for $1000 the next year when they release it?

 

Car manufacturers on the other hand know that nobody is going to replace a 1 or 2 year old car just to get CarPlay (or at least a very limited number would).  A lot would probably be willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on an upgrade though, and that would make the car owner very happy and looks good for the car manufacturer.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?


Yes, of course. 

 

You wouldn't have to deal with the stupid "safety" "features" they're putting in to keep you from doing what you want to do with your technology when you want to do it.  You would be able to use the controls on your car without having to go through an app.  And you wouldn't be tied to the crappy manufacturer stereo if you didn't want to be.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Wouldn't you be much better off just getting a mount for an iPad connected by BT to your car's audio?


Yes, of course.

 

You wouldn't have to deal with the stupid "safety" "features" they're putting in to keep you from doing what you want to do with your technology when you want to do it.  You would be able to use the controls on your car without having to go through an app.  And you wouldn't be tied to the crappy manufacturer stereo if you didn't want to be.

 

Speaking strictly to the issue of sound quality:

 

Bluetooth is not a good medium for audio. I've yet to hear a decent-sounding Bluetooth device. It's good enough for mono, telephone-quality audio, but I sure don't want to get my stereo music that way. Neither should you.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #21 of 27

An aftermarket unit better be designed by Apple.

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali View Post

An aftermarket unit better be designed by Apple.

This is what I've been wanting the whole time. The thing that it allows is user upgradability. If I were buying a new car- even with car play- if I keep it for 5 yrs- I don't want 5 yr old technology on my phone. I want to upgrade every 1-2 years- and apple could release a faster, newer model. The head unit should be "plug and play" where you can remove and install an updated version. I hate this "buy it once" formula.

Oh well. I won't be able to get it until 3-4 years from now anyway because I only buy ~3 yr old cars. 1hmm.gif

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #23 of 27
Apparently Honda and Hyundai are also coming out with carplay in 2014 models. A little surprised they were omitted in the article. BMW and others are listed as committed partners that will ship carplay with future models.
post #24 of 27

they were listed as becoming available in 2014 ... so my guess is it won't be available till the 2015 models arrive in the fall.

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post #25 of 27
As much as I like Apple, I'm shaking my head over the whole prick-tease move by announcing and releasing CarPlay BUT only for the very well off who can afford to drop some heavy coin on pricey new cars. I realize Apple is in business to turn a profit but restricting a service like CarPlay to only the privileged sends a bad message. Sure, not everyone can afford a Mac Pro and not everyone needs one for their day-to-day use but CarPlay as a (theoretical) widespread service shouldn't fall into the same exclusivity class if it's built into the iOS in my iPhone.
post #26 of 27
Originally Posted by Jerry Fisher View Post
restricting a service like CarPlay to only the privileged sends a bad message.

 

Good thing that’s not what is happening here.

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post #27 of 27
There was a mention this weekend that Alpine will be selling a CarPlay compatible head unit by this fall. Priced in the $500-$700 range according to the article.
http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Tokyo-Market/Alpine-to-sell-console-for-Apple-s-in-car-infotainment-system
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