CarPlay support will be come via a firmware update to five of Pioneer's new NEX in-dash multimedia receivers, featuring large in-dash LCD displays that can be installed in most existing vehicles. CarPlay support means users will have Siri voice control for making and receiving calls, reading and responding to text messages, using Apple Maps for navigation, and listening to music, podcasts and iTunes Radio.
"Pioneer's years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first to offer CarPlay to drivers," said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics Inc. "By providing an aftermarket option, Pioneer's 2014 in-dash multimedia systems give many iPhone owners the ability to add CarPlay to their current vehicles."
The entry-level option will be the AVH-4000NEX model, which starts at $700. Other, more fully featured models will be priced at $750, $900, $1,200, and $1,400.
Beyond CarPlay support, Pioneer has also promised that its lineup of NEX dashboard installations will have a more responsive user interface than previous models. The company also says that sound quality, convenience and safety have all been enhanced.
The announcement comes after another report indicated that Alpine will also be bringing its own CarPlay options to the market. Alpine has not yet confirmed the rumors, but it's been said the units will cost between $500 and $700, and will debut this fall.
Tuesday's announcement from Pioneer stands in contrast to comments made by Kenwood to AppleInsider last month, when the company said that CarPlay wouldn't be in any of its 2014 products. At the time it was suggested that Apple might be reserving CarPlay as an OEM option for automakers --?something that obviously is not the case.
CarPlay was officially announced by Apple at the Geneva Motor Show on Monday. A rebranding of the "iOS in the Car" functionality unveiled by the company last year, CarPlay will debut in select vehicles this year from partners Volvo, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Hyundai, and Ferrari. Future partners include Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and more.
For more, see AppleInsider's inside look at the technology that drives Apple's CarPlay standard.