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Apple CarPlay: BMW looks back on the annual pass

Update 04/12

Autocar is Autoblog report that the BMW press office, respectively British and US, has confirmed that the subscription for CarPlay will be deleted. All those who assemble the latest version of ConnectedDrive infotainment units will be able to use the service completely for free (this of course also applies to cars that will be announced in the future), while previous versions will have to pay a fee lump sum as happened before. Both newspapers say that BMW's official announcement should arrive shortly, but at the time of writing the update all is silent.

BMW cites as a motivation the desire to "provide its customers with the best possible possession experience", which we could translate into: criticisms have rained abundantly and in Monaco they preferred to go back.

Original article – 07/23

Apple CarPlay becomes a subscription service on BMW cars: therefore, the rumors of the beginning of 2018 are confirmed. For the first time in the automotive industry, compatibility with Apple's mirroring system will be offered to customers not just how optional but also as a subscription service with variable expiry.

As reported AutoExpress, the strategy takes effect immediately and covers all new models equipped with the operating system 7.0, the latest generation of the connected infotainment system that supports, among other things, the remote updating functions (OTA, Over-the-Air), as well as the digital assistant with advanced voice commands BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. We are talking about X5, Series 8, Z4, Series 3, Series 1 and X6 (or 65% of the range) and all the models that will arrive in the future.

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Currently BMW offers Apple CarPlay (among other things in wireless mode) only as optional or (depending on the models) in combination withthe richest infotainment systems. With the new strategy, instead, those who want to take advantage of this compatibility will have to shell out 85 pounds a year (equal to about 94 euros), 255 pounds for three years or 295 pounds for the life of the car. These prices refer to the English market, while the official status of our country is still lacking.

All BMWs equipped with the newly purchased 7.0 operating system will enjoy for free of the Apple CarPlay subscription for 12 months, a term beyond which customers will have to decide whether to renew their season ticket or not to be able to view the main smartphone apps on the car's display: with one pound it's possible extend the trial period by a further month, or you can proceed directly with thepurchase of formulas annual, three-year or the life one.

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In this way, BMW can delete CarPlay from the list of options, keeping the attack price lower, only to offer it at the end of the trial period as an additional service only to those who request it, also because not all customers who buy a BMW own an iPhone (Android Auto, among other things , is not supported). The other side of the coin will present itself when you buy a used BMW and you will risk having to pay to "unlock" CarPlay.

An understandable strategy if you look at the evolution that the car market is undergoing, with the increasingly massive diffusion of solutions such as i long term rentals and the subscriptions, with which you only pay for the actual use and not the possession of the car. On the other hand, however, we recall that more and more generalist manufacturers offer standard compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Excellent value for money or simple naivety?