Alpine electronics claims to be the first company to start selling an in-dash head unit audio system compatible with Apple’s CarPlay system for iPhone iPod and iPad that was announced earlier this year.
Many Japanese auto companies will be offering CarPlay systems and Alpine claims to be the first company to be able to offer eight aftermarket infotainment unit which is expected to cost between 500 and $700.
CarPlay only works with iPhone 5/5S/5c and the Alpine device will work the a lightning connector. The touchscreen will be 7 inches and will enable voice calls, playing of music, navigation, Siri and reading of messages out loud. First apps for CarPlay include Beats, Spotify and iHeart Radio.
Once the iPhone is connected to the car with CarPlay installed, using Siri, you can access your contacts, make calls, return calls and listen to voice mail. When messages or notifications arrive, Siri announces then and then can read the messages out loud. The driver can dictate a message or call back.
The update for CarPlay has been pushed to to iPhone and Apple iOS devices.
So far, for Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have announced vehicles that will come with CarPlay. It it has been rumored that Pioneer is working on a CarPlay, a system also.
The Alpine CarPlay in head unit is expected go on sale in Japan in 2015 for a price less expensive than some automaker equipped models.
Other cars that will offer CarPlay after 2014 are BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, , Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Kia, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
There is a trend, however because of studies that show that car buyers want in head infotainment units that work with their smartpones that the price of the unit is included in the price of the car.
Yano Research predicts that sales of in-car entertainment systems that link to smartphones to reach 14.75 million by 2018.