LAS VEGAS-Recent studies show that connectivity is a key component for today’s truck and auto-buying consumers, and that’s great news for aftermarket accessory retailers and installers with the new products released here at the 2015 International CES show in Las Vegas.
According to AutoTrader.com, a recent consumer survey conducted in conjunction with the Harris Poll found that more than half of auto and truck consumers are so intent on getting the “must-have” technology that they are willing to wait up to a full year before buying a new one, and they are willing to pay up to $1,500 extra to get those new gadgets.
Thanks to the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the same connectivity technology that is in today’s smartphones is now available to be installed in today’s models for a fraction of the cost of buying a new ride.
At CES, several automotive audio companies were shining the spotlight on new solutions coming to the aftermarket that allow customers to connect their smartphones to their trucks with easy-to-install systems that offer all or even more of the functionality of a high-priced new model fresh off the showroom floor.
Staying true to its company name, Pioneer is trailblazing this new technology by being one of the first to offer aftermarket solutions that are compatible with both the Apple and Android based smart phones. Utilizing Pioneer’s second-generation Network Entertainment eXperience (NEX) aftermarket in-dash multimedia receivers, retailers can offer three models that work with both smart phone platforms, and additional two models that work exclusively with Apple CarPlay.
“Because we know many consumers have both Apple and Android smart phone users in their families, why should we limit our onboard systems to just one or the other,” explained Jaed Arzadon, manager of corporate communication for Pioneer. “We are proud to be one of the first manufacturers to implement these new smartphone integrations into our line of aftermarket in-dash receivers, providing many consumers the opportunity to update their existing vehicles with the latest smartphone connectivity service of their choice.”
Arzadon said the advent of Apple and Android in the market helps small installers with limited marketing budgets reach more customers.
“For small shops who don’t have a lot of money to spend to promote their businesses, having well-recognizable brands enter the market means the possibility for more customers entering their shops,” he said. “It’s good for everybody.”
For retailers, this means being able to connect with their customers by offering today’s top technology at prices that are greatly reduced over the in-vehicle systems offered by OEMs.
Available in the first quarter of 2015, Pioneer’s lineup includes:
- Android Auto-AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX and AVH-4100NEX. Three of the five NEX models feature Android Auto integration, allowing consumers to quickly connect their compatible smartphones to extend the Android platform into the car in a way that’s purpose-built for driving. Utilizes a simple and intuitive interface to provide navigation, communications, music and more combined with powerful new voice actions for minimized distraction, so users stay focused on the road.
- Apple CarPlay-All of the above models plus AVIC-6100 NEX, AVIC-5100. Pioneer’s CarPlay-compatible NEX in-dash receivers offer consumers the ability to upgrade the vehicles they already own to the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car. Consumers with the latest version of iOS on their iPhone 5 or later, including iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6, can use Siri voice control to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, access Apple Maps for navigation, and listen to their music, podcasts, iTunes Radio.
Most Pioneer models also include:
- SiriusXM-Ready (all models)
- Advanced Bluetooth Capability (all models)’
- HD Radioâ„¢ Technology (all models except AVIC-5100NEX)
- FLAC playback capability (all models)
“These Pioneer technologies allow retailers to offer their customers the opportunity to take older vehicles and turn them into highly connected models at a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle,” says Arzadon.
Now there is no need for consumers to wait for their perfect connectivity solution to come along – it’s all available now for a fraction of the cost. That’s good news for the aftermarket industry.
Kenwood also utilized the CES platform to introduce to market a head unit that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Alpine also offers a 7-inch unit with the Apple CarPlay interface.