Toyota: Apple CarPlay, yes. When? Not saying, actually

The automaker shifts back into neutral on when we might actually see the first Apple CarPlay-compatible Toyota models.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read

For a little while on Wednesday, it looked like we had a date for when Toyota would start offering Apple's new CarPlay smartphone integration for iOS devices.

Then early Thursday, the automaker shifted from drive to neutral, with this brief note on its official Toyota UK blog :

UPDATE 13/3/14: A previous version of this article said Apple CarPlay would be in Toyota cars from 2015. This is incorrect and we are happy to put the matter straight. No announcements have been made about if and when Apple CarPlay will arrive in Toyota cars.

The headline on the blog post does suggest a certain amount of enthusiasm for the new iPhone-related technology -- "Apple CarPlay: Toyota joins in-car iOS project" -- but the subhead takes a more tentative, standoffish tone: "Apple's CarPlay software could bring the iPhone experience to future Toyota models." (Emphasis added.)

On Wednesday, the blog entry had given a more definitive sense of timing, stating that "come 2015" we'll be seeing the technology in Toyota dashboards.

So it's going to be a while before your Corolla can become the biggest iPhone accessory that you own. A single model year certainly would have been a fairly quick adoption in the glacial world of automotive update cycles. (Remember, it took over a decade for USB ports and Bluetooth to reach their current levels of ubiquity as audio sources.)

We've known since the announcement of CarPlay that Toyota was a "committed partner" and would eventually be bringing the technology to future models in its line. We knew this because it said so right there at the bottom of Apple's Web site.

And we're still left to wonder which Toyota models will be the first to get CarPlay compatibility, how the CarPlay technology might coexist with the automaker's Entune app connectivity suite, or if (or, more precisely, when) we'll see any bleed-over into the automaker's Lexus luxury marquee.

Editors' note: This story was originally posted March 12 at 5:22 p.m. PT with Toyota's original statement of AirPlay adoption being on track for 2015. It has been recast with Toyota's subsequent statement that it has made no commitment on when AirPlay might land in its cars.

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