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First Apple CarPlay systems arrive courtesy of Pioneer

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Firmware update enables existing NEX in-dash receivers

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Pioneer is now the first aftermarket manufacturer to support Apple CarPlay with the release of new firmware for its NEX in-dash receivers. The 2014 NEX series ranges in price from $700 to $1,400. Pioneer also announced a new $600 AppRadio 4 with big 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and support for both CarPlay and MirrorLink, thus making it compatible with iOS devices and handsets from Nokia, Samsung, and others.

pioneer AppRadio 4 mirrorlink

CarPlay was announced in March as the foundation of Apple’s connected car strategy. "CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car," said Apple VP Greg Joswiak at the time. "iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction." CarPlay will be available in select cars starting this year, and eventually be shipped in models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Ford, and GM to name just a few of Apple’s 30-odd partnerships. Microsoft and Google offer competing strategies.