Apple’s CarPlay May Be Installed in Older Vehicles

Source: Apple.comApple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently announced CarPlay system may become available as an aftermarket installation option for some older car models. According to 9to5Mac, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its “goal is to offer an aftermarket solution by the end of the year,” although the car maker did not reveal what models would be eligible for the CarPlay upgrade.

CarPlay’s expanded availability is good news for older car model owners who want to take advantage of the enhanced iPhone integration features that are available through the system. “CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” stated Apple vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.”

Apple first revealed its in-vehicle device integration system at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference under the “iOS in the Car” moniker. However, Apple rebranded the system as CarPlay at an announcement made at the Geneva International Motor Show last week. The embedded automotive operating system allows users to more easily access all the functions found on their iPhone while they are driving their vehicles.

As noted by Apple, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will be the first car makers to release vehicles with the CarPlay system. However, many other car makers have plans to include CarPlay in their vehicles, including BMW, Ford (NYSE:F), GM (NYSE:GM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota (NYSE:TM).

According to the Christian Science Monitor, CarPlay will be included in Volvo’s new XC90 sports utility vehicle and Ferrari’s four-wheel-drive FF model. Mercedes-Benz has yet to disclose which of its models will be outfitted with CarPlay, but it is widely expected to be installed in the C-Class and S-Class sedans.

The connected-car market is expected to become increasingly competitive in coming years, according to ABI Research.  “It is inevitable that consumers will demand to be able to use their smartphones in cars, even in luxury cars equipped with the latest top-of-the-range fully embedded infotainment systems,” noted ABI Research analyst Gareth Owen. According to ABI Research, almost half of all “in-vehicle infotainment” systems will use Apple’s operating system by 2018.

However, in-vehicle systems are not necessarily exclusive to one software maker, and several other tech companies besides Apple are already in this market. Earlier this year, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced the formation of an Android-based “Open Automotive Alliance” that includes GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai, reports The Verge. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) makes an in-car software called Windows for Sync and BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) widely-used software is called QNX. According to a statement from BlackBerry’s Paul Leroux via N4BB, Apple’s CarPlay is supported by QNX.

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