The Apple, Inc. CarPlay Story Just Got Better

In one swift move, Apple may have just opened up CarPlay to a much larger market.

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:05PM

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) CarPlay, or a version of iOS built to access the iPhone through Siri- and touch-enabled controls for functions like navigation, music, and messages, was first teased last summer at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. While Apple has showed off full-version demos of CarPlay since then, it has remained a question as to whether Apple would make CarPlay available to older vehicles through an after-market solution. But the wondering is over: Alpine is officially bringing to market a stand-alone console that supports CarPlay this fall, reports Japanese newspaper Nikkei

An after-market option for CarPlay is important to Apple's success in this new, fast-growing market of vehicle smartphone software amid attempts from competitors to successfully enter the same space.

Apple Carplay

Image source: Apple website.

Alpine's after-market CarPlay solution
In early March, investors got a first look at the manufacturers Apple planned to rollout CarPlay to. Fortunately, the list was long. But now, with Alpine's after-market solution, Apple is making it possible for almost anyone to get access to CarPlay -- new vehicle or not.

While a slew of carmakers will soon start offering vehicles that come standard with a CarPlay interface built in, the Japanese company's device is to be the first aftermarket product compatible with the system. It will first be available in the U.S. and Europe and likely cost around $500 to $700.

Alpine's after-market CarPlay solution will connect to the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s. The display will likely be seven inches and also use voice commands. The Alpine device will initially be available in the U.S. and Europe, according to Nikkei.

Why Apple needed an after-market solution
Though the battle for the car among software giants is fairly new, it's already heated. Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android for vehicles, in particular, is bound to be a formidable competitor to CarPlay.

Carplay Apple

CarPlay requires an iPhone, and Apple hasn't yet expressed interest to relieve consumers of this requirement. Source: Apple website.

At the 2014 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Google announced its Open Automobile Alliance with a plan to bring Android to vehicles. Unlike Apple, Google doesn't plan for the onboard Android operating system to always require a phone to work. Not piggy-backing off of a phone, iPhone and Android users alike could get full access to Google's software in vehicles with it built in; this could be a good selling point for both manufacturers and consumers, while also making CarPlay less enticing.

With such a notable disadvantage to Google's customized version of Android for Vehicles in gaining mass adoption, Apple's willingness to let manufacturers build after-market solutions is welcoming news for Apple investors. Though I'd still like to see Apple eventually hand over enough control to vehicle manufacturers to let the cars themselves power CarPlay without requiring an iPhone, Apple's move to allow other brands to debut after-market solutions provides me with a little more confidence the tech giant will be willing to fight with some vigor in this important market.

Putting the icing on the cake, estimates from Yano Research Institute suggest that the after-market smartphone vehicle entertainment system market is growing fast. "Shipments of in-car entertainment systems that link to smartphones ... will leap roughly fivefold [between 2013 and 2018] to reach 14.75 million," Nikkei asserted, citing Yano Research Institute's projections. Given this expected growth, Apple's presence in the space is basically a necessity for the company to become a formidable player in vehicles.

Automotive peripheral company Clarion has also said that it plans to support CarPlay in after-market devices at some point in the future, according to MacRumors.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Apple's move to compete in vehicles is just one small manifestation of the massive revolution investors are calling the "Internet of things." Given the size of the market, knowing how to invest in this market is key for investors. The problem, however, is that most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets like the Internet of things. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in explosive lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 trillion industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Ford, General Motors, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Ford, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information

Compare Brokers