Apple’s in-car infotainment system is heading to a number of new vehicles in the not-too-distant future and if the latest rumors are taken at face value, those not in a position to purchase a new ride will also be able to get in on the action.
A report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei suggests the Cupertino-based company is working with aftermarket stereo maker Alpine Electronics to create a CarPlay-approved head unit. The device would offer the same sort of functionality found on integrated solutions like Siri voice control, music control and iMessage control and response.
The aftermarket stereo industry was once a booming business as individuals were keen on swapping out their stock stereo receivers for something with a bit more functionality, better aesthetics and more power.
But over the past several years, automakers have been building stereos and infotainment systems in such a manner that it’s no longer feasible to replace them as they take up large portions of the dash / console. What’s more, many of the higher-end systems included today are more than capable for most drivers meaning an upgrade would offer few benefits.
If today’s rumor pans out, it’ll really only apply to those with older vehicles designed with swappable head units in mind.
It’s expected to ship in Europe and the US later this year priced between $500 and $700 sans installation. If you aren’t capable of installing the head unit yourself, prepare to pay a little extra to have it professionally installed.