BMW No Longer Charges for Apple CarPlay

Andrew Cummings
December 7, 2019

When BMW chose to offer CarPlay in its vehicles previous year, the company made the unusual move of charging its customers a monthly subscription fee for the privilege.

Prior to the $80 subscription fee, BMW in 2018 was charging $300 for the feature but only if equipped with navigation.

However, given the ongoing negativity surrounding the charges, the company has now confirmed that CarPlay will be offered for free on all models that feature the company's latest ConnectedDrive infotainment system.

According to the British specialized AutoCar website, BMW has reversed its decision to charge for the use of CarPlay.

The rationale for BMW charging a fee is that it incurs costs when integrating CarPlay into its existing system.

BMW owners-upon purchasing a car-got a free subscription to CarPlay for a year. Anyone who owns 2019 or 2020 model year vehicles and current BMW-Apple CarPlay subscribers will shortly no longer have to pay for a monthly or annual subscription, the spokesperson said. The i3 and i8, for instance, will still need to purchase a lifetime subscription.

As for BMW drivers that are now paying for the CarPlay subscription, it isn't clear if they'll no longer be required to pay for the service, or if customers that have already paid for a long term CarPlay subscription will be reimbursed. These changes will become effective first in the United Kingdom and then will be rolled out in other countries. One might argue that charging for CarPlay at all is a bit odd, especially since many competing carmakers (luxury or otherwise) offer it or Android Auto for free by default, but that's a topic for another day.

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