BMW Wants To Charge You Annually For Apple CarPlay

A number vehicles come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility but adding Apple’s technology to the $83,100 740i costs an additional $300.

Instead of ditching the odd markup, BMW will reportedly begin charging owners an annual subscription for something that comes free on a $20,550 Hyundai Sonata. Despite sounding somewhat insane, BMW North America technology product manager Don Smith told The Verge the company is making the change to help benefit consumers.

As Smith explained, “A lot of people buy [the CarPlay option] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.” Smith went on to say the subscription service allows customers to switch smartphones without getting stuck paying for an option they can no longer use.

The Apple CarPlay subscription will reportedly be free for the first year but, after that, customers will have to cough up $80 annually to continue using the service. The subscription is aimed at lease customers and Smith said it will cost them less than the $300 option does now.

In related news, Smith confirmed the Google Assistant will be joining Amazon’s Alexa in BMW models later this year.

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  • Anything for a Buck

    Well, BMW can KMA!

  • Navy P. Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I am surprised the Germans don’t charge a fee for air condition or for the tires that come with the vehicle.

    • willhaven

      Wasn’t A/C an option on many European cars a few years back?

      • Navy P. Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Back in the 1970s it was an option.

      • yawn

        Car stereos were extra-cost options on BMW and Mercedes until the early 90’s.

        • Miknik

          Still is on a base polo. Standard is a double DIN whole in the dash; A base Smart will offer a steering wheel with buttons for the stereo that didn’t come as standard, but given they don’t use even remotely DIN sized stereos, you aren’t even able to order one from Ebay or China shall you wish to retrofit….

      • Christian Wimmer

        It was still optional on many German cars in the late-1990s.

        I worked for a Benz dealer in the early 2000s and some of the lower and mid-range W203 C-Classes had no A/C. It was optional. But back then it was not a big deal because the summers weren’t as hot as they are now and a mentally existed among many German buyers that they didn’t need A/C.

        Times have changed and these days buyers expect such features as standard. So they are now standard.

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          Not in the US.

          AC has been standard on their vehicles in the US for decades.

      • Miknik

        In Europe, it still is in many base versions of smaller cars. Especially the premium makers get away with charging for even the most basic stuff ridiculous amounts, but the badge, you know….

  • Dennis Scipio

    No thanks.

  • pjl35

    This is ridiculous. It shouldn’t cost anything AT ALL and should just be built in to all of their infotainment systems. You know…like other manufacturers do.

    • KidRed

      I’m sure they have to pay a license fee and then also integrate the software into their systems. None of that happens for free.

      • Matt

        License fee for Google is $0.75, I’d except apple to be around the same price. But this isn’t really about how little it costs BMW to pay & integrate the feature, it’s about the demand for this product in a premium/luxury car that people are willing to buy at a price.

        • Wolverine350R

          You know Apple stuff is always multiple the price of Google, so probably more like $3.

      • pjl35

        So do all other manufacturers and they aren’t doing this…

  • Dubble Bubble

    Maybe Apple should start charging BMW to carry CarPlay.
    BMW = Greedy Bastards

    • fathornyblackandjoe

      They DO. In fact, all car makers pay Apple a license fee for CarPlay. Most just bundle it into the price of the vehicle; BMW charges for it separately–but you are right…BMW’s mark up is outrageously high.

      • KidRed

        FYI- car makers have to pay licensing fees from android auto as well (GMS licensing).

      • Dubble Bubble

        I have two vehicles with Apple Carplay and I don’t use it in either one. Personally, I think Carplay is overrated. If your vehicle already has bluetooth connectivity, Carplay doesn’t really offer that much more especially when you factor in how much the whole program costs. (approximately $1,000) https://www.howtogeek.com/277953/what-is-apple-carplay-and-is-it-better-than-just-using-a-phone-in-your-car/

        This “option” is installed without any way to opt out of having it, just like Sirius Radio, I don’t need or want either one but I still have to pay for them.

        • Vassilis

          CarPlay was a €200 option on my car and it costs around that in other cars as well. It’s worth it if you don’t have satnav and it’s also convenient if you listen to podcasts. You can still do that with BT but don’t have as much control like for example skipping in set, 15-second increments. You also have a user-friendly interface.

        • fathornyblackandjoe

          I agree. I just bought an X5, and I got CarPlay, but to be honest, I was completely on the fence…I bought it mostly because my friends like using it when they’re in the car, and it might be attractive to someone else for resale, later down the road (ha!). I would rather just have a way to “mirror” my phone to a large screen in the dash, or have Android Auto. Can’t believe BMW doesn’t even offer that. If nothing else, they should add Waze as a built-in app, and give up on their own navigation platform…they’re never going to beat Waze (or some kind of industry-neutral mapping/traffic management service).

          I hate the automatic, non-opt-out-able Sirius enrollment.

  • ediotsavant

    Now I understand why Toyota doesn’t want to use Apple/Android.

    • Phil

      Because one other carmaker has just now decided to charge for it, while for most other carmakers it’s a no cost option? Makes perfect sense.

  • lagunas3ca

    Apple CarPlay sucks, you couldn’t pay me to use it.

    • pjl35

      ok…then don’t? i think the rest of us will be just fine with the fact that you aren’t.

      • Apple

        You must be an Apple apple worshiper!!

        • pjl35

          You must not know how to proofread!!

    • europeon

      Do you even own an iPhone?

    • Vassilis

      It’s actually pretty good.

  • TrevP

    This doesn’t surprise me. BMW would do this.

  • TB

    Well now…that’s probably going to go over like a wet fart in church…

  • roy

    Yes… As if they really care for the customers. And even if they did, they would have at least given the option of either going for subscription or just buying it like now. And the price for buying it should be 80$ and that if subscription perhaps 20$ per year ?

  • ctk4949

    Glad I didnt get a BMW, geez. BMW you know what would be helpful if crapple ppl switched to Android?? Maybe you should offer Android Auto as well??

    And update your damn interior!! Its like 20 years old!!!!

  • CarbonPhiber

    And in related news, while BMW will make Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa standard on all their cars, there will be a per-command fee of $4.99 to interact with either. When asked about it, a BMW spokesman said that anyone who does not like the new pricing structure can go screw themselves.

  • MarketAndChurch

    I don’t see what’s wrong with this. BMW customers tend to love to overpay for overpriced options on an overpriced product. That’s a great deal of why BMW sells as many cars as it does, is the perception that having one means you payed a lot to get it. This also applies to Apple owners, and they tend to spend more money on other products/services within the Apple system and are high-income earners to begin with. I don’t think this will last but its not a dumb business decision.

  • I was looking for a line saying “it will be updated all the time”… You know like most tech service that went subscription instead of a simple purchase now offer you constant updates. 80 is a lot by the way. And ok for people with a lease, but once the car hits the used market… a second hand buyer will have to pay a subscription? BMW is basicly saying “dear hackers, here is a good reson to hack our system”.

  • I have a strong feeling they will have to backtrack on this bizarre policy that is harmful to their customers’ wallet but beneficial to BMW’s…

  • europeon

    > “A lot of people buy [the CarPlay option] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.”

    And that is why BMW doesn’t offer Android Auto at all.

  • Jay

    lol so then anyone who can code their cars can get it for free right? If its just literally a digital switch like I assumed, this will be just like me unlocking their once offered $500 office suite.

  • brn

    Before either existed, I felt there should have been an open standard where the car system acts as a input and output device. Add a couple of APIs for extras like pulling GPS info from the car (much more accurate). It’s simple. It’s flexible. It’s platform independent. It has longevity.

    Instead we get this overly controlled junk from Google and Apple. I can’t wait for people to get fed up with it, so we can get it done right. Thank you BMW for the push!

  • Zed68
  • Kagan

    Get rid of this stuff totally and back to good road cars!

  • Moveon Libtards

    I am just hapoy Apple is finally bringing back billions of dollars to the U.S. from offshore accounts. And paying $38 billion in taxes along the way. Oh, and providing a whopping $2,500 U.S. dollars in bonuses to 200,000 employees due to Pres. Trump’s tax reform bill.

    Thank you, President Trump!

  • smartacus

    oh i bet they WOULD like to charge me annually.

    Yet, they DON’T want me as a customer since
    they alienated all the customers (and fans) who
    made BMW a household name in the first place.

  • Bash

    In their dreams!

  • So now that they cannot charge anymore for their 5 pixel navigation each year to get it updated for $300, they want to charge for this. Just get a Tesla and free updates while you sleep. These stone age companies need to learn a lesson about their greediness.

  • Miknik

    I’d laugh quite a lot if Apple then would sue BMW to charge a subscription fee for an Apple service.

  • Infinite1

    BMW is infamous for charging extra for what competitors and lower end cars come in standard so this isn’t surprising to me. It’s a stupid thing to do though

  • Trackhacker

    This is why I listen to CDs and don’t need to care about this lame apple car play and android auto.

  • Tom

    … ridiculous …

  • getoffme

    Mercedes Benz also charges for Carplay/Android Auto and yet nobody has mentioned it.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      False.

      • getoffme

        Oh it does. It isn’t standard at all.

  • Vassilis

    Well, this is stupid.

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