updated 04:05 pm EDT, Mon May 24, 2010
Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT uses iPhone for 3G radio
Pioneer today brought out the AVIC-Z120BT, a new flagship navigation head-end unit with a unique Apple tie-in. Those with both the in-car GPS and a new PioneerLink for Pandora iPhone app can both stream Pandora Internet radio over the smartphone's 3G connection and move the service's controls over to the AVIC's 7-inch touchscreen. The approach supports the usual thumbs up and thumbs down controls as well as changing stations and Quickmixes.
Most dockable iPhones and iPods can still use the Z120BT's USB port to play music with control again handed over to Pioneer's system.
As the highest-end car unit from the company, the system has hardware 3D acceleration that supports detailed 3D maps as well as Bluetooth, a DVD drive for videos and music CDs, support for rear cameras and options for HD Radio and Sirius XM. Those who don't want to use a USB source for audio can also load SD cards.
Shipments start in June for the two-DIN unit, which carries an official $1,599 price.