Parsippany, N.J. - Alpine ads have begun appearing in Pandora's iPhone app to promote Alpine's first Pandora-ready head unit, the iDA-X305S.
During a dealer-training seminar here, product promotion manager Steve Brown said, consumers who click on the ad will be taken via their iPhone to an Alpine mobile-Web site, where consumers can get more details about the digital media receiver and find nearby dealers who sell the single-DIN "mech-less" radio.
To underscore the head unit's sales potential, he pointed out that 10 million people have downloaded the Pandora app for the iPhone, and 25,000 more people download it every day.
The unit is priced at $349.
The controls of the head unit emulate the controls of an iPhone's Pandora app, and the product's 2.2-inch display shows Pandora-supplied album art and song metadata. The head unit connects to the iPhone via included cable that plugs into the iPhone's multi-pin connector, enabling the head unit to receive Pandora music from the iPhone, send control signals to the iPhone's Pandora app, and charge the phone.
Controlling the Pandora app through the iDA-X305S's controls is more convenient and safer than the alternative, which is to connect the iPhone to a head unit's 3.5mm audio-input jack and use the iPhone's touchscreen to control the app while driving, Brown said. The head unit will also help consumers comply with laws prohibiting cellphone use while driving, he added. "In California, you can't touch a phone [by law] while driving," he noted.
The head unit also eliminates cable clutter because consumers don't have to use both a 3.5mm audio cable and, if they want to keep the iPhone battery from draining, a separate car charger.
To control the Pandora app from the head unit, consumers must install a free downloadable app, which is already available from Apple's iTune store.
The iDA-X305S features AM/FM tuner, 4x18-watt amp, USB input, and inputs to connect a satellite-radio tuner, HD Radio tuner, and Imprint acoustical-tuning processor.
Separately, Alpine lowered the prices on two mech-less double-DIN head units launched in 2009. Neither is Pandora-ready, but both feature touchscreens. One head unit is the iXA-W407 with 7-inch touchscreen. Its price was reduced to $599 from $749. The other is the iXA-W404 with 4.3-inch touchscreen. Its price was reduced to $299 from $499. They connect to optional outboard navigation drive, backup cameras, DVD changers, HD Radio tuner and satellite-radio tuner. They also feature USB input.
In its lineup, Alpine offers a total of four mech-less head units, including the recently introduced single-DIN iDA-X303 priced at $199 with no touchscreen.