Pioneer announced Tuesday that five existing in-dash LCD displays will be receiving a firmware upgrade “in early summer 2014” that adds support for Apple’s CarPlay. Since Apple announced CarPlay on March 3, most reports have been focused on new cars, but these aftermarket in-dash consoles can be installed in your old jalopy.
CarPlay, described as “iOS in the car,” pairs an iPhone with a car dashboard through a Lightning cable. After the phone is plugged in, the user can access Apple Maps, messages, and music through a Siri-based interface. New iPhones with the most recent iOS update are already CarPlay ready, although prior to Pioneer’s announcement there were no compatible products available to consumers. Apple will likely reveal more CarPlay plans in June at WWDC.
Pioneer’s announcement comes on the heels of a report in Nikkei that pointed to Alpine, another manufacturer of in-dash units, releasing its own CarPlay compatible console this fall.
All five units are part of the NEX line and are currently available from Amazon. They range in price from $700 to $1,400 — not cheap, but certainly less expensive than a new Mercedes-Benz. Check out a complete list of compatible models over on Pioneer’s website.