Apple unveiled its CarPlay in-car infotainment system earlier this year, that paired the power of an iOS smart device with a decent set to of speakers and a bigger display, to create quite a powerful little tool. It’s still not officially out yet though, even if you can order some third party head units featuring the Apple build software. So the question Apple and car fans the world over have now is: when is it coming out?
The plan at last call was for Apple to launch CarPlay this year. When is anyone’s guess, but considering how little of the year is actually left, it’s going to be in the fall, potentially around Christmas for all those car buffs to fill their stockings with head units and CarPlay accessories.
This is all speculation for now, as there has been little by way of announcements from Apple regarding the matter. Apart from its unveiling earlier this year, the fruity firm hasn’t even really mentioned the systems with regards to a full release. In-fact just this week when Apple consolidated its list of third party partners for the CarPlay system, it did little to assuage concerns that the release of the system had been pushed back to next year, potentially giving Google a lead in on the connected car with its comparable Android Auto system.
However, Cult of Mac has managed to receive confirmation from an inside source, that indeed Apple’s CarPlay is coming this year, so fans need not fret. On top of that, we know that CarPlay is being delivered to some customers (even if full functionality won’t be enabled until the official release) in some early release Ferrari’s. Other car manufacturers have also confirmed to be adding the hardware to their cars, including Hyundai, Mercedes and Volvo, though those latter two have been confirmed as delayed.
Electronics manufacturer Pioneer however, has been very vocal about its plans to make its aftermarket head-units available by the end of this year, so that is likely to be the quickest and most cost effective method of getting your hands on a CarPlay system if you absolutely must have it within the next few months.
Some analysts have speculated however, that as impressive as Apple’s CarPlay system is, it might be launching too late. Not in terms of direct competition, but because the peak of Apple’s iPhone popularity has come and gone. Today, Android equipped mobiles are far more dominant and there are some inroads being made by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.
If Apple had launched CarPlay three or four years ago, it would have essentially faced very little competition for a highly connected car that linked up with your smartphone, but today it’s far from the powerhouse it once was. Especially when you consider that each new iPhone seems to launch with some serious issue, the latest one being that the aluminium casing loves to bend in tight trouser pockets.