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Pioneer Expands AppRadio SKUs, Taps Android


Pioneer’s car electronics division expanded
AppRadio technology to more head units to turn
an iPhone 4 or 4S into an in-dash radio’s main source of

The company also extended
AppRadio functionality in
its new AppRadio2 head unit
to turn select Android smartphones,
not just iPhones, into
a vehicle’s main source of

In mid-2011, Pioneer
launched its first AppRadio
head unit, a $399-suggested
double-DIN AM/FM/RDSreceiver
with 6.1-inch capacitive
touchscreen but no CD
mechanism. The head unit controls and displays a USBconnected
iPhone’s stored music, video, photos, contacts
and calendar items when a Pioneer AppRadio app is installed
on the phone. The head unit also delivers handsfree
Bluetooth calling, displays Google Maps local search
results, and displays the user interface and content of 12
third-party iPhone apps equipped with a Pioneer API. Additional
compatible apps are planned.

AppRadio continues in the line but will be joined in
April by the $499-suggested AppRadio2, which will offer
AppRadio functionality not just for the iPhone 4 and 4S
but also for the growing number of Android smartphones
equipped with a Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) port or
HDMI Micro port. Android-based AppRadio apps are in
development for availability when AppRadio2 ships, Pioneer

AppRadio2 features 7-inch capacitive touchscreen,
AM/FM/RDS tuner and no CD mechanism.

To extend AppRadio’s connected-iPhone functionality
to head units with CD/DVD players, Pioneer developed
Advanced App Mode in two in-dash A/V-navigation systems
and one A/V-receiver.

The nav systems are the
which will be available
in April for suggested
prices of $800 and $1,200,
respectively. The latter features
built-in HD Radio.

Out of five new A/V receivers,
the flagship features
advanced App Mode. That
model is the $650-suggested

In other smartphone-connectivity
advances, Pioneer
expanded App Mode to all new single-DIN CD receivers
and all new A/V receivers, letting users listen to an iPhone’s
streaming music apps through the car stereo system. The
apps must be controlled from the iPhone, however.

Pioneer also adopted Bluetooth Serial Port Profile
(SPP) for the first time, offering it in both of the new nav
systems to enable audio playback and head-unit control of
Pandora Internet radio and Aha Radio running on select
Android phones.

The company is offering its first head unit, the flagship
AVH-P8400BH A/V receiver, with the ability to let users
select songs stored on a USB-connected Android smartphone
by title, artist, genre and other filters.

In other developments in its 2012 head-unit line, Pioneer
expanded built-in HD Radio to eight head units from
three in 2011 and launched a sound-quality-focused highend
single-CD receiver and a matching full range class-D