BMW wants to charge drivers an annual fee for CarPlay


BMW plans to charge users $80 per year for CarPlay.
Photo: Apple

Up until now, Apple’s in-car platform CarPlay has been offered as a one-off payment if you want it in a BMW vehicle. That could soon change, however, according to a new report, suggesting that BMW is looking to switch to a subscription-based system.

BMW added CarPlay back in 2017 as a one-off $300 option for cars equipped with in-built navigation. Speaking at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show this week, BMW North America technology product manager Don Smith told The Verge that this may soon switch to a service priced at $80 per year.

While that may wind up earning BMW less money over the typical 3-4 year lease on one of its cars, Smith said this will help the customer by offering more flexibility. “This allows the customer to switch devices,” he said. “A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.”

BMW doesn’t offer Android Auto right now, but Smith said Google Assistant is likely to arrive for new BMW cars later in 2018. It is also adding Amazon Alexa to its new models.

Recently, Toyota confirmed it will finally embrace CarPlay in its 2019 Avalon and other vehicles launching this year. The Japanese firm is one of the last major automakers to adopt Apple’s platform, which is already available on Ford, General Motors, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and many other car manufacturers’ vehicles.

Do you use CarPlay? What does you think of BMW potentially switching to a subscription-based system, instead of a one-off payment? Let us know in the comments below.