CES 2015: Kenwood announces multimedia receiver with Apple CarPlay

Kenwood is the next car accessory-maker to jump on the Apple CarPlay bandwagon, announcing at CES 2015 on Tuesday its new DDX9902S receiver.

The DDX9902S will support both CarPlay for iPhone users and Android Auto for Android Phone users – a pretty common theme we’ve been seeing at CES 2015. It features a touchscreen, with the ability to add a rear-view camera and maneuver safely with on-screen parking guide lines, and compatibility with factory steering wheel audio controls.

“We understand that consumers are loyal to the brand or platform of smartphone they use,” Tony Mercado, marketing manager for Kenwood, said. “To that end, we wanted to create a multimedia receiver that doesn’t force the customer to choose based on his or her preferred smartphone.”

CarPlay will work with all Lightning-enabled iPhones (currently the 5, 5C, 5S, 6 / 6 Plus), allowing users to access Siri: Eyes Free mode, Apple Maps, telephone, music, and iMessage from their in-car dash. Right now, Volkswagen is touting MIB II (and subsequently CarPlay) in its Golf automobile.

The DDX9902S also comes with Bluetooth integration for safer phone calls and wireless music pulled from a paired smartphone, and support for Pandora and iHeartRadio. Solutions like what Kenwood offer are great for users who don’t have a newer vehicle that has CarPlay built-in.

Kenwood hasn’t announced pricing or availability for the DDX9902S, but says it will have more details soon.