Alpine Electronics will offer Apple CarPlay compatibility with a 9-inch screen aftermarket receiver, the company’s largest screen, later this year. The product includes built-in HD Radio.
The i109-WRA is part of what Alpine calls its restyle dash system; these products, meant to replace the entire dash of a pick-up truck, include audio, video and navigation systems.
Alpine has now expanded its restyle systems to include the Jeep Wrangler. There will be three 9-inch screen units this year: the new i109-WRA with Apple CarPlay, the currently available X009-WRA, and the new X109-WRA with system expansion capabilities.
Other features offered by these radios are iPhone and iPod music control, audio streaming, and Pandora control from iPhone and Android smartphones. Both new models are SiriusXM-ready, meaning the consumer needs to buy a separate satellite radio tuner.
The companion Alpine Connect smartphone app helps the user personalize the screen and audio content. Spotify and iHeartRadio will be included when the radios go on the market in April.
RBR+TVBR observation: Executives will want to know how consumers are interacting with their stations and how easy it is to listen to other audio media in these new infotainment systems. These “restyle” products are meant to improve the look and function of the factory radio in the most popular pickup truck models — like the Ford F150 — still the best-selling pick-up truck in the country. I’ve seen these. You can replace the dash and retain all the audio/phone controls on the steering wheel or elsewhere on the dash. Alpine made this announcement at CES; Price and exact availability of the i109-WRA are TBD.