After careful consideration and much thought, BMW of North America has decided to not charge a subscription for Apple Car. Therefore, the Apple CarPlay is now free for BMW owners. CarPlay takes the things that you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them on your car’s built-in display. When you connect your iPhone to CarPlay, you can get turn-by-turn directions, make calls, send and receive messages, listen to music, and more.
How did this strategic change of direction come about? “BMW is always looking to satisfy our customers’ needs and this policy change is intended to provide BMW owners with a better ownership experience,” a BMW of North America spokesperson said in an email.
A few months ago, BMW announced that starting with its 2019 Model Year cars, it will start charging a monthly fee to use the Apple CarPlay system. At the time, BMW’s ConnectedDrive website was advertising fees of $80 for 12 months of Apple CarPlay service or a 240-month membership for $300. In the past, BMW charged a one-time fee of $300 to add Apple CarPlay capability to navigation-equipped BMW models.
If you were a BMW owner with a car equipped with the new iDrive 7.0, then Apple CarPlay subscription was free for the first 12 months.
Naturally, there are still many unanswered questions, such as possible refunds for people that have already paid for the service, or customers who have opted out of Apple CarPlay after one year. BMW says that these cases will be handled market-by-market, but in the U.S., the BMW Customer Relations will contact the Apple CarPlay customers via email and present them with options.