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Pioneer Readies Aftermarket CarPlay

Long Beach, Calif. — Pioneer could become the first autosound company to bring Apple’s CarPlay to the aftermarket when it delivers an early-summer firmware update to its five currently available NEX in-dash multimedia receivers.

The models, priced from a suggested $700 to $1,400, require the use of an Apple 5, 5s or 5c with iOS 7.1 and a Lightning-to-USB cable. Once the Lightning-equipped iPhone is plugged into the head unit, the CarPlay user interface automatically launches, the company’s website said.

Clarion has also said it would offer aftermarket head units with CarPlay but didn’t announce a timeframe.

With CarPlay, consumers will be able to use Apple’s Siri to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation, select stored music and podcasts, and listen to the iTunes Radio streaming service, Pioneer said.

CarPlay was developed by Apple for use by automakers, and so far, automakers have announced that CarPlay would be available this calendar year in only a handful of vehicles: the Ferrari FF, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo’s XC90 SUV. Apple, however, has also claimed that other auto manufacturers are working with it to develop CarPlay-enabled systems, including BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

CarPlay also lets users stream Spotify and iHeartRadio, and Apple has promised CarPlay will support more streaming apps in the future.