BMW to Charge $80 for Apple CarPlay via New Subscription Model in U.S.


While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are slowly becoming standard features in most car manufacturers (Honda comes to mind), Germany’s BMW charges American iPhone customers $300 USD (it’s $750 CAD in Canada as part of the ‘Smartphone Connectivity Package’, which requires a Premium Package) to get the service as an add-on. Now, it appears CarPlay is going to continue to cost you in your BMW.

Bmw carplay

The Verge spoke with Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America, at the ongoing 2018 Detroit Auto Show today. According to Smith, CarPlay will soon move to a subscription model after offering the first year for free:

After that, owners would be asked to pay $80 per year to keep the service. Over the course of a three or four-year lease, it would still work out to less money than the option is now, he said.

CarPlay arrived last year as an option, while wireless CarPlay debuted with the 5-series and iDrive 6.0.

Android Auto is unavailable for BMW for now, but Smith confirmed Google Assistant will be coming to new models in 2018, along with Amazon’s Alexa.

There’s no word if the American subscription CarPlay model will make its way into Canada, but for now, it appears BMW has no plans to offer CarPlay to iPhone customers for free in either country.


  • Joe

    $80/year for CarPlay? It’s just software… why would BMW ask its customers to pay for something that Apple gives them for free?

    I’ll tell you why: BMW was developing it’s own CarPlay competitor which they were going to use to make more money, but the popularity of CarPlay has stifled their plans, so now they’re trying to make up for it with a CarPlay tax.

    I am due for a new car in 2018 and one of my only requirements was that it must have CarPlay. Now I am adding a second requirement: no CarPlay taxes allowed.

  • Darren

    If you can afford a BMW you can afford 80 dollars a year.

  • Parksy

    I bet Apple might have something to say about that. I can see them being ok with charging for the hardware (as many manufacturers do now) but a yearly subscription would probably be against the rules.

  • Joe

    First off, ever heard of principles? Paying a fake subscription fee for something that should be free goes against my principles. I’m not going to support a company that does stuff like that. It’s gross.

    Second, not necessarily. In my case, a new car lease is something I can expense with my job. The $80/year, however, would be 100% out of my pocket. Not cool.

    Your point about BMW owners being able to easily afford $80/year is not lost on me. I get it. If you can afford the luxury car, you can afford the made-up subscription fee. But do you understand MY point?

  • Klea

    ridiculous to be honest. bye bye bmw I’m buying Tesla anyways.

  • Klea

    I can afford it. So what?

    You know why? Because I don’t want to pay extra. Even if it’s 80$ per year. And never will do. This is part of how you can afford bmw and more expensive cars. Being smart with money, minimising expenses and credits, maximising income and money actives.

  • FragilityG4

    I worked for BMW for four years I’m not surprised. We always said it stands for Break My Wallet hahaha

  • MeowMito

    Charging for something is free as long a hardware support the mobile. Carplay and Android auto is just a projection external screen with touch support. There are no software build in what you see on the HUD.

    Sounds like BMW is trying to cheat customer who don’t know sh!t about CarPlay/Android Auto.

    You can get aftermarket for $300 CAD one time fee and use it for life. Move it onto another car.

    BMW = Break My Wallet

  • Lawrence

    It depends on your income. 80/year is such a tiny amount, it wouldn’t bother most professionals.

  • Olivier

    I don’t see this Lasting. It would be surprising to see Audi/Mercedes and Lexus/Acura/Infiniti going in the same direction, and I don’t think BMW will keep on being the only one charging a subscription. BMW used to be a reference for technology, cheging for something as basic as a screen mirroring is honestly taking your customers for walking wallets.

  • erth

    i have both carplay and andriod auto in my honda accord. i used it for a short time and now do not use it at all. i am annoyed that waze is not an app on apple carplay, so therefore i bought a vent clip and put my phone on it every time i get in the car. therefore, carplay is not needed as a vent clip fixes this.

  • erth

    and, the only way i see this changing is if you vote with your feet. don’t buy the car because of this. they will get the hint. or, their customer base will open up their wallets and pay and therefore it won’t matter.

  • LouisDC

    I’d also like to see Waze (or at least Google maps) on CarPlay. Apple Maps is just awful. Which vent clip did you end up buying?

  • Widohmaker

    People who can afford these things tend not to be stupid about money.

  • StarTurtle

    Seems like they need to find a way to offset loss revenue from people no longer purchasing their navigation system and their costly map updates due to CarPlay’s built in feature.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Mazda doesn’t have Android auto or Carplay and likely never will despite the false information being disseminated for half a decade.

    Instead, Mazda has their c r a ppy infotainment system and hideous navigation system.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Waze is useless in my experience.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Say goodbye to your vent and hello to costly repairs. Everyone is know who used a vent clip regretted it eventually.

  • My 1/2 cents

    I thought GM was the reference for technology?

  • My 1/2 cents

    In case you haven’t noticed, consoles have been highly integrated with the vehicles media and system settings.

    Unless you spend a lot of money or time on redoing your console, the aftermarket units look awful in them.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Haha. Anyone who bought a BMW is not smart with their money. After the warranty and free maintenance expires, it’s break my wallet more.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Wanna bet? They just justify their bad spending habits instead of accepting their bad decisions..

  • Olivier

    Hope you are kidding.

  • MeowMito

    You’re not smart with money. Big spender. Maybe you’re lucky if your credit score is high.

  • Klea

    Not smart enough, yes.