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Apple CarPlay rumored to hit third-party stereo market this year

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While Apple has worked directly with carmakers to integrate CarPlay into future vehicles, rumors suggest that Cupertino has its sights on the aftermarket audio scene as well. In what might end up being a decidedly un-Apple move, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports that CarPlay may be on its way to cheaper, third-party infotainment systems.

Apple is reportedly working with Alpine Electronics to develop a device that will serve the same functions (like Siri control) as the bespoke CarPlay systems for Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and a slew of other manufacturers. In this case, however, owners will need to connect their iOS devices by a wire. Nikkei expects the device to reach the US and Europe later this year, retailing for between $500 and $700. If the rumor passes muster, it means that consumers won't have to purchase new cars to take advantage of what CarPlay has to offer. We've reached out to Apple for comment.

Update April 15th 10:53am: Apple confirmed today that it is working with manufacturer Pioneer for aftermarket head units.