BMW to charge drivers $80 per year for CarPlay access in 2019

in iPhone edited March 2020
Since 2016, BMW has offered Apple CarPlay integration as a one-time add-on option, but that will soon change, as the German car maker is switching to a subscription model for 2019.

Currently, BMW offers CarPlay as a $300 option on car models with built-in navigation systems. Starting next year, however, BMW owners will need to pay $80 per year for the luxury, reports The Verge.

Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America, revealed the new pricing strategy at the Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday, framing the subscription model as a more flexible alternative to single purchase activation.

"This allows the customer to switch devices," Smith said. "A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think its okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android."

The new plan grants free access to CarPlay for the first year of ownership on a new BMW model, after which the $80 per year fee comes into play. Smith points out that, for a three- or four-year lease, the subscription plan is less expensive than BMW's current one-time fee. However, customers who purchase outright could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for CarPlay over the course of a car's lifetime.

BMW is one of a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access. The German firm jumped on the CarPlay bandwagon in 2016, and later that year debuted the first car to employ a wireless variant of Apple's infotainment system.

Apple provides auto companies access to CarPlay software if built-in infotainment systems meet a certain set of criteria, mainly relating to touchscreen and connectivity hardware.

Smith said BMW plans to diversify its virtual assistant integrations in 2018 with the addition of Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.


  • Reply 1 of 73
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,129member
    Subscription for what? Updates to fix BMW software? This is stupid. CarPlay and Android-whatever can co-exist and does on aftermarket stereo systems. BMW needs to take a computer class and get out of the 19th century. As for having Google Assistant or Alexa, that's the first thing I'd disable.
    Scot1peterhartrufworkJWSCracerhomie3doozydozenmazda 3swatto_cobra[Deleted User]bshank
  • Reply 2 of 73
    cashxxcashxx Posts: 115member
    Wow.....double dip much?  That is a crock!
  • Reply 3 of 73
    What an obvious money grab. Their rationale makes no sense - if users want to disable car play they could just put an option for this in the settings menu. It's already a joke that it costs $300 to enable a software feature.
  • Reply 4 of 73
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,048member
    As an owner of two BMW motorcycles, I give BMW a big SCREW YOU.  BMW will do anything and everything to suck more money our of their customers.  The ONLY thing reliable with their cars is the warranty.  That's it, because a 50-cent part will disable the car, and they'll charge you thousands of dollars to replace it.

    Exactly WHAT does subscribing get the consumer?  Continued fixes and/or updates?  Or is it literally just to use it?  

    My BMW's are my final purchases from that blood-sucking company.   My business partner bought an $80K BMW a few years ago (against my recommendation) and got rid of it not even two years later as it spent more time in the shop than it did on the road.

    How that company manages to stay in business is beyond me.
  • Reply 5 of 73
    This is so dumb. They should just charge you $49 if you want to change it (from CarPlay to Android or, more likely the opposite) for the 5min it takes to flash a new ROM. Good luck with that, BMW. Tesla updates a ton of stuff for free—clogging the purchase path isn't worth it when you're headed into an electric fight with combustion engines...
  • Reply 6 of 73
    My 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid came with it on the mid-priced model and it has a setting for either CarPlay or Android. Updates come through my iPhone for CarPlay. Nothing comes from Honda.
    edited January 2018 doozydozenwatto_cobradysamoriaredgeminipaairnerdnetmagebonobobjbdragon602warrenjony0
  • Reply 7 of 73
    If people are dumb enough to buy a BMW, then they are dumb enough to pay a subscription fee to activate CarPlay.  
  • Reply 8 of 73
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,972member
    I have it in my 2015 Azera. It was a free update.  I use it somewhat but use Waze for navigating, so that feature is basically useless on screen.  
  • Reply 9 of 73
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,829member
    BMW is certainly fun to drive especially above 70 miles speed but costs lot to buy and worse, costs way lot to maintain compare to other cars. I was dumb enough to buy 530i and regret it. As far as CarPlay subscription is concer, not sure what is there to subscribe to pay for yearly update. Maps, music,Apps are all updated on iPhone side. BMW infotainment system is kind of mirror(or extension) of iPhone screen.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member
    When did Adobe buy BMW?
    This will be hacked in no time because people won’t put up with it.
  • Reply 11 of 73
    I just got rid of my BMW and got an Alfa Giulia. Best move I ever made. What an amazing car. And no subscription fee for CarPlay. I suggest all you other Beemer owners do the same. You will thank me later.
  • Reply 12 of 73
    And, this is why I stopped buying BMW. Paying more for their cars? I was fine with that, I still like their drive better than almost anything. But the stupid little nickel-and-dime stuff like this, should be beneath them. My girlfriend has a damned FORD that comes with both Android Auto and CarPlay. How is "people might want to switch to Android" even a valid argument? It's embarrassing.
    stompyred oakDavidAlGregorycornchipJWSCdoozydozenwatto_cobradysamoriaredgeminipageorgie01
  • Reply 13 of 73
    How pathetic is this!?

    It is this kind of laughable nickel-and-diming that led me to abandon BMW and switch to an Audi when I bought a new car six months ago. 
  • Reply 14 of 73
    rkrk Posts: 4member
    I've already decided that my 2013 X3 will be my last BMW. This is absolutely ridiculous money grab by a very profitable automobile company. I love the vehicle but, there are so many other choices that don't take advantage of their customers. 
  • Reply 15 of 73
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,780member
    Well that’s BMW off the list of possible next cars ...
    christopher126DavidAlGregorycornchipdoozydozenSpamSandwichwatto_cobra[Deleted User]dysamoriaredgeminiparussw
  • Reply 16 of 73
    Who was the BMW official that, a few years back, said they, attribute the uptick in sales of white BMW's to Apple?

    Are they daft?

    This is like a company not having a presence on iOS. 

    Stupid company! :) No BMW for me! 
    edited January 2018 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 73
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 59member
    At first I thought this is ridiculous, but then I figured maybe BMW owners expect people to do everything for them and call the call center every time they want to use CarPlay. People that buy cheaper cars would not even think about calling the call center for help using CarPlay. 
  • Reply 18 of 73
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,748member
    Guess I’ll stick with my Audi!
  • Reply 19 of 73
    I have a 2016 VW Golf 1.8 TSI S- the standard model in the US- and it included both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and not on a subscription. This is just greed on a scale beyond tolerance- especially since many BMWs are built by non Union labor in the American South instead of in high wage Germany. They are getting ready to shift production of even more of the US line to a new plant in Mexico- so your "German" car was actually built by people who speak Spanish.

    But the price will not drop one red cent.

    The greed by car manufacturers is just beyond the pale. If VW can give you CarPlay AND Android Auto on a VW costing less than 20k, why does BMW need to charge $80 a year to people who have already overpaid for the "Ultimate Hype Machine"?
  • Reply 20 of 73
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,952member
    What exactly is the subscription for?
    you have an iPhone, CarPlay is activated. You have an android, android automis activated.  As long as you have a head unit with usb or wifi and the facility activated, it works. A one time, at the time of manufacturing activity. 
    BMW is despicable.
    edited January 2018 watto_cobradysamorianewtonrjspheric
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