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BMW to charge subscription fee to use Apple CarPlay in new vehicles

Last Updated Jul 30, 2019 at 4:54 pm EST

A BMW logo is seen on a vehicle in downtown Toronto on Friday, July 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Summary

Apple CarPlay allows drivers to access iPhones in their vehicles to make calls, text, play music, navigate and use apps


BMW will now be charging $100 for a one-year subscription or $400 for 20 years after a one-year trial


Other automakers do not charge for access to Apple CarPlay


BMW owners who want to use Apple’s CarPlay system to use their iPhones in their new cars will now have to pay a subscription fee.

CarPlay allows drivers to access their iPhones to make calls, text, play music, navigate and use apps.

Up until recently, BMW charged a one-time fee to add CarPlay to a vehicle. Other car manufacturers like Honda, GM, Chrysler, Ford, Volkswagen, Mazda, Nissan and others followed a similar model, depending on the style and trim level of the vehicle.

But that’s all changed now, with the company charging $100 for a one-year subscription or $400 for 20 years after a one-year trial for 2019 model-year vehicles equipped with the navigation package.

“In Canada, all model year 2019 vehicles with on-board navigation have been equipped with Apple CarPlay preparation for a period of one year,” a statement from BMW Canada said. “This one-year period is an extended trial (teaser) that gives all customers the chance to test the service out and experience it in their car.”

The German automaker said the pricing structure will allow consumers flexibility.

“This offers BMW customers the flexibility to purchase the service for different lengths of time, based on their needs,” BMW added. “Customers will not incur any CarPlay preparation costs if they do not have an iPhone or do not use the service.”

Users of Android phones are not affected by this change, as BMW does not support Google’s mobile platform in their vehicles.

CityNews reached out to Apple Canada for comment, but they have not yet replied.