We first saw an example of what Pioneer is doing with Apple CarPlay at the recent IFA event in Berlin, Germany, and today we have the very first official release information. Besides launching a new, CarPlay compatible unit, Pioneer is issuing a firmware update for some of its existing units to bring CarPlay to current customers.
Today Pioneer becomes one of the first aftermarket manufacturers to support Apple CarPlay™ with the official release of a compatible firmware update for the AVIC-F60DAB, AVIC-F960DAB, AVIC-F960BT, AVIC-F860BT and the AVH-X8600BT, as well as the introduction of the CarPlay-compatible SPH-DA120.
The firmware updates are available to download from today from the Pioneer support site so owners of supported units can load it up before hitting the road again. This in particular is fantastic news that CarPlay can be added to already sold units and that you don't need to go spending hundreds of dollars to get in on the action.
Besides the existing units, Pioneer has also announced a new unit, the SPH-DA120. It's got a 6.2-inch WVGA resolution touchscreen and support for Mirrorlink as well as CarPlay for those folks who don't have an iPhone. It's a little different in appearance to the unit we tested at IFA, but on the CarPlay front at least functionality should be identical.
The DA120 will be available soon through Pioneer dealers though no firm date was announced at this time. So it looks like for the time being its current Pioneer customers who have the leg up. If you load up CarPlay on your own system today be sure to jump into the comments and tell us how you find it. For a refresher from IFA, check out the video below.