BMW Plans to Turn CarPlay Into Subscription-Based Service Next Year

BMW plans to offer CarPlay as a subscription-based service beginning next year, rather than charge a one-time fee, reports The Verge.

The automaker will charge $80 per year for access to CarPlay starting next year, with no fee during the first year of ownership of a new BMW, according to Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America.

BMW currently charges a $300 upgrade fee to drivers who want CarPlay, available in its 2017 model year and newer vehicles.

Smith believes switching to a subscription-based pricing system will provide BMW owners with more flexibility. "This allows the customer to switch devices," he said, while mentioning Android as a specific example.

BMW doesn't currently support Android Auto, although Smith said Google Assistant is coming to new BMW models later in 2018.

Smith also argued that the annual fee could actually work out to be cheaper for somebody with an average length lease, as the total cost after four years after the free first year of access would be $240, cheaper than the one-time $300 charge.

Of course, those who don't trade in their BMW once every four years can expect the CarPlay subscription fees to add up significantly over the long term. All the while, many other automakers now offer CarPlay as a standard feature.

BMW may ultimately decide against this idea if it receives enough negative feedback from customers, but we'll have to wait and see.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: BMW

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago
What a joke. Apple should explicitly forbid this in its licensing terms.
Rating: 124 Votes
26 months ago
All I can say is WTF?

and a $300 upgrade on a 30k+ more reason not to buy a BMW...
Rating: 80 Votes
26 months ago
This is a lawsuit waiting to happen
Rating: 48 Votes
26 months ago
What's next?

Do you want ABS, pay $10 month.
Want access to your trunk, unlimited for $10 a month or $1 every time you open it.

The whole subscription base thing is getting out of hand!!!
Rating: 36 Votes
26 months ago
Next it will costs 29.99 for each bag you want to put in your trunk for a trip more than 25 miles.
Rating: 34 Votes
26 months ago
Wow talk about scamming customers.
Rating: 32 Votes
26 months ago
Guess I won't be looking at a BMW when I shop for a new car next year ...

I won't pay for a CarPlay subscription same way as I don't pay for a Satellite radio subscription. While I don't need Satellite Radio, I don't care if it is offered as subscription or not ... however, CarPlay is something I *want* but I am not willing to pay monthly for it - so as long a there are other options, I will choose those.

Not sure if they is also true for BMW, but I think it is a joke that with many car manufactures you can get CarPlay only if you also take the Navigation System ... For me, AppleMaps works great, so I won't need the Navigation System and don't want to pay extra for that either.
Rating: 31 Votes
26 months ago
Man, why didn't they think of this sooner? Why can't I pay BMW for my FM radio subscription already? I can't believe they give us that for free!
Rating: 29 Votes
26 months ago

Well the big difference of course is that with satellite radio you actually are paying for a service that has value (to some). CarPlay is just an iOS feature that has a marginal cost to the auto manufacturer to support (since most of them have robust infotainment systems that can easily handle the burden of running CarPlay). It’s really nickel-and-diming and BMW should be ashamed of themselves for charging for it at all as a luxury manufacturer. My new Audi has it standard.

And satellite service costs the supplier money when they give it to you. They have to keep the satellites in the sky, power the uplinks, pay for content and talent, etc. They have annual costs which they cover by charging you a subscription. BMW has no annual cost associated with supplying you with a screen.

What BMW is suggesting is no different than a television manufacturer charging you an annual subscription if you want to plug a Roku into the HDMI port.
Rating: 18 Votes
26 months ago
Lol was just thinking about buying a BMW 140i M line... maybe done...
Rating: 13 Votes

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