Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

BMW Realizing Their Mistake With Apple CarPlay

BMW Realizing Their Mistake With Apple CarPlay

When BMW chose to offer CarPlay in its vehicles previous year, the company made the unusual move of charging its customers a monthly subscription fee for the privilege. After 12 months, owners were asked if they wanted to let the subscription lapse or pay £85 for another year's access. Now it seems that BMW has confirmed that the changes are confirmed.

BMW is no longer charging an annual subscription for Apple CarPlay, after the move from a one-off payment to a subscription model was met with controversy. In addition, BMW says that wireless CarPlay is more complex than the usual cable connection and it brings a whole set of new challenges when it comes to support.

It was the only manufacturer to charge a monthly fee for CarPlay access, and naturally it did not go down well amongst its customer base, especially considering Apple's transparency in how CarPlay works, and how manufacturers only have to comply with the company's software policies, requiring no ongoing investment, development, or upkeep on their side.

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As for BMW drivers that are now paying for the CarPlay subscription, it isn't clear if they'll no longer be required to pay for the service, or if customers that have already paid for a long term CarPlay subscription will be reimbursed. Surprisingly, it is actually uncommon among other auto manufacturers to continually charge people for CarPlay after any initial option charge.

Launched in 2018 with the brand's latest "7.0" operating system, customers received a year's free subscription to the service, which lets users synchronise their iPhone with the car's infotainment system. There is not yet clarification on whether people who have already paid will get a refund. The i3 and i8, for instance, will still need to purchase a lifetime subscription.

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