Apple roundup: CarPlay, VirnetX royalty rate, Asian hiring

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Apple (AAPL -0.2%) has launched CarPlay, its expected platform for pairing iPhones with in-dash automotive systems. Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Volvo are rolling out cars that support CarPlay; most other major automakers plan to do so later.

Among other things, CarPlay (formerly called iOS in the Car), leverages Siri to make calls and send texts, allows Maps and related navigation/traffic services to be displayed in-dash, and provides access to iTunes and 3rd-party music platforms (Spotify, iHeartRadio). iTunes Radio rival Pandora (P +0.2%), which has struck plenty of automotive deals of its own, is notably absent.

Google is partnering with top automakers to launch Android/Google Now-based in-dash systems. BlackBerry's QNX is reportedly set to be adopted by Ford.

VirnetX has been awarded a 0.98% royalty rate on Apple products deemed to be infringing its VPN-related patents; the company's shares have soared in response. Apple, whose workaround for VirnetX's IP has resulted in many user complaints, will likely appeal.

The WSJ reports Apple is hiring hundreds of engineers and supply-chain managers in China and Taiwan help with new product launches. Larger iPhones appear to be among the products in question; an iWatch and larger iPad could be among them as well.