Alpine introduces 9″ Jeep Wrangler Apple CarPlay Head Unit – Alpine i109-WRA
Although I did not get a chance to attend CES this year, I did hear about a couple cool new car audio products coming out in 2016 including a new 9″ Jeep Wrangler Apple CarPlay deck from Alpine. After installing one of the X009-WRA units last summer, and seeing how nice the unit looked, felt and functioned, I really couldn’t get over how Alpine could leave out such a popular feature in a $3000 head unit. Thankfully they sort of came to the same conclusion and created the 9″ Jeep Wrangler CarPlay head unit, the i109-WRA.
This over-sized Jeep Wrangler touch screen stereo features a 9″ glass capacitive touch screen, just like what they use with the iLX-007. In fact, it is essentially a 9″ version of the iLX-007 but with additional hard buttons that function as short cut keys for Maps, Music and Phone functions. Although this unit is both attractive and surely a very functional option for a vast number of Jeep Wrangler driving iPhone users, it still leaves some key features off the table. Unlike the X009-WRA, this unit lacks:
- Bluetooth (must be connected using USB to lightning cable)
- iDatalink Maestro Integration (but does have standard steering wheel integration option)
- SiriusXM Capability (not that I care for SiriusXM, but I know lots of consumers do)
- CD/DVD (probably not such a big deal these days, but FYI)
- On board navigation (eh, you can use Apple Maps right?)
I find it somewhat frustrating that Alpine doesn’t make an all inclusive unit such as an X009-WRA with Apple CarPlay, but apparently their market research indicates consumers either want a full featured audio video navigation bluetooth stereo lacking Apple CarPlay OR they want a very minimalistic, but cool and functional Apple CarPlay radio. I think most of my customers would disagree with that. In my experience, they are looking for ALL the features in an easy to use platform at a great value (which is why Pioneer has totally domineered this category at our shop).
Speaking of value, the price tag on the Alpine i109-WRA is yet to be determined, but rumored to be at or around $1999.95. The Alpine i109-WRA is compatible with 2011 and up Jeep Wranglers and will be bundled together with a a vehicle specific wiring harness. Aside from the obvious Apple CarPlay integration, the Alpine i109-WRA features:
- 9″ Anti-glare capacitive touch screen
- Three 2-volt preouts for front, rear and subwoofer
- Rear aux A/V input
- Reverse camera input
- Compatibility with Alpine TuneIt App (which allows access to advanced audio control options including 9 band EQ, time alignment, crossover points, etc.)
Current estimated release date on the Alpine i109-WRA is April 2016.