Yes that’s right. Alpine’s long awaited wireless CarPlay aftermarket receiver is finally shipping to customers, with a delivery date on Crutchfields of July 20th at this current time of writing.
First spotted by our readers (thanks guys), the official site states that the receiver is ‘Now Available’. This should mean that units will soon be in the hands of those that preordered the unit, all the way back as far as February 2017.
Announced at CES 2017 in January, the iLX-107 is the first aftermarket receiver to feature the ability to connect to Apple CarPlay without the need to plug in a lightning USB cable. Sadly, it looks like this feature is the only main difference between the iLK-107 and its older brother, the iLX-007 (or iLX-700 outside the USA).
Since the release of the iLX-007, rumours have been bounding around that the older model featured a wireless Bluetooth – Wi-Fi chip, but the likelihood of wireless in these units were soon dismissed when newer models were found to have the supposed compatible chip missing.
Without issuing any update to trigger this feature and confuse owners without the chip inside, it made sense for Alpine to hold back and release a newer model – the iLX-107. However, we have witnessed months of development setbacks occur whilst Alpine and Apple work on the new unit, which has caused many delays on shipping the unit to customers, some giving up entirely and cancelling their preorders.
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that Alpine’s release coincides with the release of the public beta of iOS 11. Perhaps there are wireless CarPlay improvements in the upcoming iOS. Wireless CarPlay has been supported since the release of iOS 10, but there hasn’t been many, if any, supported hardware to work with it, to be sure of its stability.
Hopefully, more manufactures and aftermarkets will follow closely behind Alpine, and we will see new receivers announced later this year or early next year. For now though, if you want the freedom of wireless CarPlay, the Alpine iLX-107 is your only option at the moment, unless of course you want to pay a little more for a wireless CarPlay compaible 5 Series BMW.
Retailing at $700, the iLX-107 is a little on the premium side, for what seems like a two-year old iLX-007 model with wireless compatibility, but that’s my first knee-jerk impression. I will be reaching out to Alpine once again to see if I can bring you my full impressions on this exciting wireless CarPlay receiver soon.