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BMW Shipping Cars without Apple CarPlay Due to Chip Shortages

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BMW has started shipping new cars without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality (or even Wi-Fi capability) out of the gate after the ongoing global semiconductor shortage forced the German automaker to switch chip suppliers — reports Automotive News Europe.

“The chips built into these cars in the first four months of this year need updated software in order to be fully functional and offer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Wi-Fi capability,” BMW told customers in an emailed statement. The company said that an over-the-air (OTA) update will be pushed “by the end of June at the latest” to enable these features on affected cars.

While the exact extent of this issue is unknown at this point, BMW customers in the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Spain, and France have reported receiving new cars that lack CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi. All of the models affected by the issue have the code “6P1” in their specification.

The global chip shortage has thrown the automotive industry into a tailspin, with most manufacturers scrambling to source the many different kinds of chips that go into making a modern-day car. What’s more, semiconductors aren’t the only components in short supply for automakers.

BMW announced in another email that it would no longer offer manual transmission options for its Mini range as a result of unspecified shortages.

“In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified,” said BMW. “This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis.”

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of chipmaking giant Intel, said last week that he expects the chip shortage to drag on into 2024.

BMW originally added Apple CarPlay support back in 2016. While new BMW owners will have to wait a month or two for CarPlay, Tesla owners — who have been waiting for far longer for other reasons — need not count the days any longer as an independent developer’s workaround to get CarPlay on a Tesla is now available for download.

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