Apple’s phone-as-key CarKey feature may soon expand its availability to car brands other than BMW. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the digital key could possibly be making its way to Hyundai cars and its Genesis line by this summer.
CarKey was first introduced by Apple in 2020, with the initial rollout only supporting BMW models made after 1 July 2020. It lets users lock, unlock, and start their cars from their phones using a key in the Wallet app, and requires cars to be fitted with NFC technology for them to be compatible with the platform.
The company has not done much with the feature since its debut, except for adding UWB support for iPhones with the Apple U1 chip to enable passive entry. However, a few months ago, a code found by MacRumors in an iOS 15 configuration file for Apple Pay NFC functionality mentions Hyundai’s Genesis as a partner.
Apple is a bit behind in terms of partners when compared to rival Samsung’s Digital Key, which has already announced plans to support cars from Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis — though it is currently limited to the Genesis GV60 in South Korea. When Apple’s Craig Federighi announced CarKey, he said that the company wants the feature to work with “any car”, so clearly, it plans to expand beyond BMW.