Vehicle makers who charge annual subscriptions for CarPlay: Bad PR?

“BMW made a controversial move last year, implementing an annual CarPlay subscription,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “Instead of a one-off option payment of $300, it made CarPlay a free option in the first year, but then charged $80/year to keep it active.”

“It’s now reported that a second car manufacturer may be following BMW’s example,” Lovejoy reports. “Motor1 this week suggested that Toyota might opt for the same approach with the new Supra.”

Lovejoy reports, “Given the overall running cost of a new car, it seems unlikely that many would let a small annual subscription for CarPlay influence their choice of brand, but that kind of nickel-and-diming does seem to have the potential to damage a car company’s brand image.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s certainly a nickel-and-diming approach, but it would hardly dissuade the vast majority BMW owners from buying their next BMW. Whether BMW charging for something that should be free puts off prospective first-time BMW buyers is another story.

Note also, that BMW does not even offer Android Auto likely because they know they couldn’t charge extra for it as the the types who settle for Android wouldn’t pay for it (nor are they buying BMWs). No sense offering that which would never be used.

Apple CarPlay: How it works, the apps, the vehicles and the features – March 15, 2018
BMW charging annually for Apple’s CarPlay is why Apple should build CarPlay into iOS 12 – January 22, 2018
Vehicle makers add Apple CarPlay support – January 16, 2018
Toyota is finally adding Apple CarPlay – January 16, 2018
Wireless Apple CarPlay finally goes on sale – July 5, 2017
CarPlay: The best incarnation of Apple’s ecosystem – October 12, 2016


  1. BMW can make infotainment a premium offering if they want, but they should do it by offering superior sound systems, not screwing the user having to pay for a free hands free option for their iPhone that many states are starting to require..

    1. It’s analogous to the bad old days of cell phone carriers charging extra each month to allow bluetooth, or wifi. F that noise, iPhone destroyed that business model and I won’t be slave to a return to it.

  2. One accident where someone says I didn’t have a choice because the “greedy company” wanted to charge me a subscription fee for a safety feature, and this may be litigated into oblivion. I wouldn’t put it past someone to do this.

  3. So, BMW is going to make you pay for a bluetooth connection to your phone. Dumbarses, this subscription crap is going way too far. Then they’ll hit you with the arbitrary yearly cost increase.

  4. Not sure MDNs take is truly accurate every chav under the sun around here has a BMW the days when BMW or Mercs were classy or tasteful are long gone. And any manner of those chavy sorts sport Android phones no doubt. But I guess ‘image’ over convenience is everything to these people at least when it comes to cars.

    1. You can bypass Apple Carplay and still access your music, phone, messaging and a few other functions using BMW’s regular system functions. Personally, I found Apple carplay to be too big a distraction. Since I don’t bother with turning on wireless data, I would just assume bypass Apple carplay altogether. I wouldn’t buy any car based on whether or not it has Apple carplay.

  5. Was strongly looking at the BMW X5, but after I found this, no more. Not only are they charging, but if you don’t have cellular connectivity, it turns off. The Audi Q7 will be my car now.

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