Chevy Spark at Apple’s WWDC Ignites Interest in CarPlay
While several new software features and developers’ tools took center stage during the opening keynote address for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, the Cupertino, California-based company also had several CarPlay-equipped vehicles on hand to demonstrate its recently rebranded in-vehicle device integration system. As noted by USA Today, the vehicles displayed by Apple at San Francisco’s Moscone Center included a Ferrari, a 1965 Ford (NYSE:F) Mustang, and a Chevrolet Spark. The inclusion of the Chevrolet Spark was especially intriguing, since General Motors (NYSE:GM) has yet to announce any concrete plans to release a CarPlay-equipped vehicle this year.
Apple unveiled its CarPlay system in March at the Geneva Motor Show. Apple said in a press release that Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo all had plans to immediately debut cars with built-in CarPlay compatibility. Meanwhile, “additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road” included BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.
Since CarPlay was originally unveiled as a built-in option for only a few new vehicles made by luxury carmakers, the inclusion of a Chevrolet Spark equipped with CarPlay at the WWDC suggests Apple’s in-vehicle system may be coming to new, lower-priced vehicles sooner than expected. This would presumably boost the long-term viability of Apple’s platform, since the majority of cars sold are not luxury vehicles. 9to5Mac reports that this also means Chevrolet could be the first automaker to debut CarPlay in a fully electric vehicle, since the model is also available as an all-electric version in the Spark EV.