Apple unveiled CarPlay this week, showing off its rebranded “iOS in the Car” system. The new system will allow iPhone 5/5c/5s owners to power the infotainment system in compatible vehicles coming from Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Kia, Nissan, Toyota and others. Apple told us plenty on Monday, but there’s one thing they didn’t mention, the small detail that the systems in the cars are powered by BlackBerry’s QNX.
BlackBerry’s QNX platform is the base on which the BlackBerry 10 operating system is built, but it’s also much more than that. Before it was morphed into smartphone software, QNX was an in-car operating system that powered infotainment systems in a wide range of vehicles. It still is, and as N4BB confirmed on Tuesday, it’s also the foundation for Apple’s new CarPlay product.
“Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles,” QNX’s Paul Leroux told N4BB. “We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.”
Apple is indeed listed by QNX as one of its partners, so the news, while surprising, is certainly feasible, as QNX is the market leader in operating system platforms for automotive infotainment systems, with a market share of over 50%, and the company counts Apple among its clients.