Apple iPhone owners looking for a way to make use of Apple’s 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, 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. The 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 recently mentioned that “Apple CarPay won’t be in any of our 2014 products,” 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. Having such a strategy might allow marques such as Ford to tout CarPlay’s deeper integration as an incentive to buy or lease new vehicle, for instance, versus purchasing an aftermarket stereo to upgrade an older model.
In the meantime, Pioneer appeared to distance itself from recent rumors that it was working on CarPlay support following a statement from a customer service representative. Pioneer corporate communications executive Jaed Arzadon said the following via email:
The story was not an official statement by Pioneer and was taken out of context.
At press time, representatives from competing brands including Alpine, JVC, Audiovox and Sony hadn’t responded to requests for comment. It seems unlikely that any “Made for iPhone” – style strategy for CarPlay wouldn’t include the participation of Kenwood and Pioneer, however, it appears that the only way for consumers to get their hands on CarPlay in the foreseeable future is to visit a local Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, or Volvo dealer.