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Mazda’s Apple CarPlay retrofit coming soon

By Cameron Kirby, 03 Sep 2018 News

Mazda’s Apple CarPlay retrofit coming soon

Australian customers will soon be able to add smartphone mirroring tech to Mazdas purchased four years ago

MAZDA Australia has elaborated on its plan to make smartphone mirroring applications available to customers across its entire range, as well as some of its back catalogue during a media briefing.

UPDATE: Mazda Australia rolls out smartphone mirroring upgrade to 370,000 cars

Speaking during the launch of the updated CX-3, Mazda’s marketing director Alastair Doak explained both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would be made available to customers on certain new vehicles before the end of the year.

While the vehicles which will be fitted with the technology as standard will initially be limited, a retrofit system will arrive ahead of 2019.

Read next: Mazda CX-5 review

“We said we would start rolling [Apple CarPlay and Android Auto] out before the end of the year, both as an accessory and as standard equipment on the cars,” Doak reiterated.

“It didn’t make it onto the CX-3, but you will see it pretty soon as standard equipment on one of the other updates that we have coming.”

Wheels understands the facelifted CX-9, being launched this week, will be the first Mazda to feature smartphone mirroring as standard, with all subsequent new models to also include the tech.

“The retrofit kit is still on its way,” Doak added. “We haven’t announced pricing yet, but will do soon. That is on track and should be here in a couple of months.”

Mazda is allowing customers with older vehicles to get in on the tech, with the retrofit available to all cars fitted with the company’s MZD Connect infotainment system, which debuted on the Mazda3 in 2014.

While Doak would not be drawn on specific pricing, he did indicate it would probably cost “hundreds” of dollars, and that there would just be a single cost for customers, unlike the subscription service offered by BMW.

Read next: Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay

The one-off payment looks a distinct bargain when compared with certain other manufacturer’s fitment of smartphone mirroring servicing. For example, Ferrari offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as an option on the GTC4 Lusso for a not inconsiderable $6790.

“[The retrofit] is both a hardware and software update, so it takes a while to install,” Doak added, explaining the associated labour costs for dealerships are a significant factor in pricing.

“You will have to take the actual MZD unit out, do some magic at the back as well as a software update, so it will take some time. It’s not just a quick job.”

“But, once it is all put back together, it will look exactly the same.”

Doak indicated the duration of the fitment would be less than a day.