- after charging a subscription fee for 2019 and newer models, bmw is making apple carplay standard without any additional costs on all cars equipped with navigation.
- bmw received negative feedback and wanted to be more considerate to its tech-obsessed customers.
- bmw customers already got an extra perk: it is one of the few automakers to offer wireless carplay, although android auto is still not available.
bmw doesn't give out freebies too often, but after bad press and scores of unhappy customers, the automaker is killing all fees for apple carplay. it's effective right now.
bmw rolled out carplay several years ago with a simple but significant advantage other brands couldn't match: the ability to connect an iphone wirelessly, without a usb cable. that convenience wasn't lost on bmw, which for the 2019 model year turned carplay from a $300 stand-alone option into a subscription through its connecteddrive suite of app services, at $80 per year or $300 for 20 years. owners could enjoy complimentary carplay for the first year, after which it would be remotely disabled unless the person paid for a subscription.
bmw told car and driver that the majority of owners with 2019 model cars are still within their one-year trials and will see the service renew automatically. anyone who had a trial that expired should now see the service reappear. anyone who paid for a subscription will be refunded. and finally, anyone who buys a new bmw from this day on won't have to worry—it's standard on all vehicles with navigation.
months ago, bmw told c/d that it had to charge customers for carplay because the wireless technology could cause compatibility issues with other factory-installed features when apple rolled out software updates. the fee was supposed to pay for bmw's time in developing new updates for the idrive system. now bmw has decided it's a better idea to keep carplay working without any fees.
it's a nice win for consumers, especially from bmw, which has several features as options that other companies throw in as standard—including proximity entry, garage-door openers, and lumbar support. maybe this will be the beginning of a different approach.