UPDATE 7/23/19: BMW's ConnectedDrive website is advertising fees of $80 for 12 months of Apple CarPlay service or a 240-month (that's 20 years) membership for $300.
BMW will turn Apple CarPlay into a subscription service beginning with its 2019-model-year vehicles.
The German automaker currently charges a one-time $300 to add Apple CarPlay capability to navigation-equipped BMW models. Going forward, though, navigation-equipped BMWs will come with CarPlay at no charge for one year. Following that first year, customers will need to pay an annual fee of $80 to maintain the relationship between their Apple device and their BMW’s infotainment system.
BMWs currently are not compatible with Android Auto, although the company did announce its plans to integrate Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa services into its vehicles. A BMW spokesperson was unable to confirm whether the company plans to use a subscription-based model for using these services in their vehicles.
Regardless, BMW’s decision to charge a yearly fee for CarPlay is contrary to industry norms, as all other automakers include the service as a standard or optional feature that spans the life of the vehicle, similar to a sunroof or AM/FM radio. We’ll see if other manufacturers follow BMW’s lead in the future or whether the market will force the automaker to fall back into line and provide it at no extra cost.
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