- For all vehicles with navigation, BMW is making Apple CarPlay the default feature without any additional fees, after charging a monthly charge for 2019 and subsequent models.
- BMW wanted to be more respectful of its tech-obsessed customers after hearing complaints.
- BMW is one of the few automakers to offer wireless CarPlay, albeit Android Auto is still not available, so owners already enjoy an added benefit.
BMW doesn’t frequently offer freebies, but following negative news and a large number of dissatisfied consumers, the carmaker is eliminating all payments for Apple CarPlay. It is currently working.
BMW introduced CarPlay some years ago with a straightforward but crucial feature that no other manufacturers could match: the ability to wirelessly connect an iPhone without a USB cable. For the 2019 model year, BMW changed CarPlay from a $300 stand-alone option to a subscription through its ConnectedDrive suite of app services, costing $80 per year or $300 for 20 years. For the first year, CarPlay was offered without charge to owners; however, after that, it was remotely disabled unless a subscription fee was paid.
When Apple released software updates, BMW informed C/D that it would have to charge customers for CarPlay in order to prevent compatibility difficulties with other factory-installed features. The payment was intended to cover BMW’s effort spent creating new iDrive system updates. BMW has now determined that continuing CarPlay’s free operation is a better idea.
It’s a pleasant victory for customers, especially coming from BMW, which offers a number of extras that other manufacturers provide as standard, such as proximity entry, garage-door openers, and lumbar support. Maybe this will signal the start of a new strategy.
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According to 9to5Mac, BMW has reversed its contentious proposal to charge an annual subscription for the use of Apple’s CarPlay in its vehicles. Since 2016, the German manufacturer has demanded extra payment from owners in order for them to utilize CarPlay, at first as a $300 one-time option and later as a $80.00 annual cost. It now seems as though BMW has realized its mistake.
Since no other carmaker charges its consumers to use CarPlay, it was a dubious choice from the start. According to a BMW spokeswoman, both US and UK customers would be affected by the change. Owners of 2019 or 2020 model year vehicles and current BMW-Apple CarPlay users won’t be required to pay a monthly or yearly membership any longer, according to the spokeswoman. For established accounts, this procedure could take several weeks to complete.
The spokeswoman stated, “BMW is always seeking to satisfy our customers’ demands and this policy adjustment is intended to give them a better ownership experience.
According to 9to5Mac, who cites the UK website Autocar, only users of BMW automobiles equipped with the brand’s most recent infotainment system, ConnectedDrive, will now receive CarPlay for free.
Since they believed they could create in-vehicle technology that matched the mobile industry in terms of usability and functionality, auto firms have long tried to keep Apple and Google at a distance. Car manufacturers are now essentially conceding defeat and admitting that their customers prefer the user interface of their phones over that of their vehicles.
So, with a BMW, is Apple CarPlay free?
Indeed and no. There will still be a $300 one-time payment for owners of BMW automobiles with infotainment systems that are iDrive 6.0 and lower. Additionally, it might take some time before the new CarPlay payment mechanism is implemented in all countries, so the BMW Apple CarPlay subscription cost might continue for a little while longer.
A third-party BMW CarPlay retrofit, like BimmerTech’s, can enable CarPlay in your vehicle without the membership expense if you choose to pay a set sum up front rather than still being saddled with an annual fee.
Some BMW vehicles will no longer need a subscription to utilize CarPlay.
In 2016, BMW introduced the Apple CarPlay feature to its automobiles. The German automaker chose to add the option for $300, which later became a $80-per-year subscription. Following complaints from customers, the business appears to have reconsidered its approach to CarPlay availability, which should now come at no additional cost to users.
The British specialized AutoCar website claims that BMW has changed its mind and will no longer charge for the usage of CarPlay. Customers could previously test the service out for free for a year when purchasing a new BMW vehicle. They would then pay $80 each year in the US or £85 in the UK after that. According to a BMW representative, the cost won’t be applied to any vehicles running the most recent ConnectedDrive infotainment system.
You’ll still have to pay to use CarPlay if your vehicle isn’t equipped with the most recent version of ConnectedDrive, but BMW will only charge you PS235 once. The annual subscription fees paid by eligible customers will not be refunded, but they will be automatically excused from future charges. Before being implemented in other nations, these measures will first take effect in the UK.
Given that CarPlay simply requires a linked iPhone to function, it’s vital to understand that Apple promises not to charge manufacturers any fees for using the system. The automakers themselves decide whether to charge customers for this option, and BMW was the first to do so.
And what do you make of it all? Was it unethical for BMW to charge for CarPlay use? Tell us in the comments section below.
BMW owners are being told to pay again for Apple CarPlay
Since Apple CarPlay is often available as free standard technology in new cars, BMW’s decision to rapaciously demand a $300 monthly fee to utilize Apple CarPlay in 2019 and 2020 models like the 7 Series and X7 equipped with GPS drew heavy criticism. BMW then presented two pricing options: $300 for 240 months or a reduced $80 cost for an annual subscription.
Following significant customer outrage, BMW subsequently dropped these membership plans and, like the majority of other automakers, introduced free Apple CarPlay functionality. Owners of BMWs are regrettably now encountering a fresh issue with Apple CarPlay support.
Apple CarPlay has reportedly stopped functioning, according to several BMW owners. Even worse, some have been informed that they must pay for the service while checking its status online although it ought to be free. Just to be clear, Apple CarPlay was not affected. Instead, a glitch with the BMW ConnectedDrive service, which enables customers to wirelessly pair devices and use Apple CarPlay on an iPhone, was to blame for the issue.
A user who was having the problem posted on Reddit, “I contacted with my sales guy at the dealership and verified difficulties are going on. “Had me check the customer portal website,” the website for the car and all of its information and apps.
“It indicates that I have CarPlay installed. He claimed that for some users who lost the capability, it now seems that they must pay for the app, but for others, like myself, it still displays a valid subscription.”
Apple CarPlay should now function flawlessly in all BMW models since BMW has since restored all connected services, but a system fault like this shouldn’t be renewing subscriptions. It is advised that you get in touch with your neighborhood BMW dealer if you are still being asked to pay for the servicing. We can only hope that a soon-to-be-released over-the-air software upgrade will stop this from happening again and put an end to the BMW Apple CarPlay fiasco once and for all.
EXCLUSIVE: BMW USA will provide Apple CarPlay free of charge.
BMW of North America has decided not to charge a subscription for Apple Car after giving it significant thought. As a result, BMW customers can now use Apple CarPlay for free. CarPlay displays the activities you wish to perform on your iPhone while driving on the in-dash display in your vehicle. You can get turn-by-turn instructions, make calls, send and receive messages, play music, and more when you connect your iPhone to CarPlay.
How did this strategic shift in course occur? BMW of North America sent the following statement in an email: “BMW is always trying to satisfy our customers’ demands and this policy adjustment is meant to give BMW owners with a better ownership experience.”
BMW previously stated that starting with the 2019 Model Year vehicles, the Apple CarPlay system will be available for a monthly cost. For 12 months of Apple CarPlay service, BMW’s ConnectedDrive website was charging $80, or $300 for a 240-month membership. In the past, BMW added Apple CarPlay support to cars with navigation for a one-time cost of $300.
If you owned a BMW and had a vehicle with the new iDrive 7.0, your first year of Apple CarPlay service was free.
Of course, there are still a lot of unresolved issues, such as potential reimbursements for consumers who have already paid for the service or users who decide to stop using Apple CarPlay after a year. Although BMW claims that each market will handle these issues differently, in the United States, BMW Customer Relations will email Apple CarPlay users to discuss their alternatives.
BMW Ships New Vehicles Without Apple CarPlay for the Time Being
Due to the carmaker switching its chip supplier, BMW is temporarily shipping new vehicles without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability (via Automotive News Europe).
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto require updated software to function on the new CPUs found in many BMWs produced this year. Dealerships are advising BMW customers who purchase a new vehicle without CarPlay to wait for an over-the-air upgrade that will add the feature “by the end of June at the latest.”
It’s unclear how many BMW models are impacted, but a lot of consumers in the UK, France, Italy, and the US have complained online about receiving new cars without CarPlay. Models that are affected have the specification code “6P1” in them.
While some BMW owners may have to temporarily do without CarPlay capability, BMW is moving chip suppliers to enhance its supply chain over the long run, which could help to alleviate component shortages in the second half of the year.
With support for Digital Key, Ultra Wideband Digital Key Plus, and a feature-rich dual-screen wireless CarPlay experience, BMW provides one of the most integrated experiences with Apple’s ecosystem. BMW only began providing CarPlay in 2016 and faced criticism for charging a $80 yearly subscription charge before canceling the subscription in response to the backlash.
BMW charges for Apple CarPlay, right?
Does CarPlay cost money for BMW owners? No, Apple CarPlay is no longer a fee to BMW owners, as it should be given that it is free from other automakers.
Does BMW need you to purchase Apple CarPlay?
In 2017, BMW released Apple CarPlay as an add-on that was only available with vehicles that had built-in navigation.
Previously an option, CarPlay is now a requirement for all BMW models with navigation systems.
You must determine whether CarPlay has been enabled on a used BMW manufactured before 2020.
It’s crucial to remember that the automobile needs a wifi antenna and head unit that are compatible. If your vehicle has the necessary configuration in place, your nearby BMW dealership will be able to let you know.
Although it’s unlikely that the technology will be put in BMWs manufactured between 2014 and 2016, a small number may do so given that retrofitting is technically doable.