Apple’s digital car key feature may soon be useful for unlocking more than a handful of BMW models. In his latest newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claimed that Hyundai and its luxury Genesis badge will support Apple CarKey “by the summer.” It’s not certain which models would offer the option, but it’s worth noting that some trim levels of the Ioniq 5 and other Hyundai cars include NFC for a (currently patented) digital key.
While locking remotes have been available through smartphones for a while now, CarKey (and its Android equivalent) treats the phone more like a physical key. You just have to bring your phone or Apple Watch to the door handle to unlock it, and you can even place your phone in a certain space to start the car. People with ultra-wideband iPhones (like the iPhone 11 and newer) can even leave their phone in their pocket when opening and starting the vehicle.
If the leak is correct, Apple’s move could significantly expand the audience for digital car keys — you wouldn’t have to shop at one high-end brand to even consider it. A deal would also suggest that the tussle over a potential EV partnership wasn’t enough to deter Apple and Hyundai from exploring a CarKey team.