BMW No Longer Charging Monthly Fee for CarPlay in Cars With Newest Software

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BMW in early 2018 decided to begin offering BMW customers CarPlay access for a subscription fee rather than a one-time fee, requiring BMW owners to pay $80 per year to use CarPlay after the first year of owning a BMW vehicle.

No other car manufacturer that offers CarPlay charges a monthly fee, so this change was understandably unpopular with BMW customers. Prior to the subscription fee, BMW charged a one-time $300 upgrade fee.


Given the negative sentiment over the subscription charges, BMW is now changing its plans. According to a BMW spokesperson that spoke with British site AutoCar, BMW will now offer CarPlay for free for the lifetime of the car on all models that have the latest ConnectedDrive infotainment system installed.

Models that do not use the latest system, such as the i3 and the i8, will now require a one-time fee instead of the subscription access. Going forward, in vehicles with the new system, CarPlay will be available at no cost.

U.S. site Autoblog has confirmed that BMW is also making this change in the United States. "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 spokesperson told Autoblog after being asked why the change was made.

It's not yet clear when BMW customers who already pay for a subscription will be able to stop paying for CarPlay access, nor is there word on whether BMW will be reimbursing customers who already paid for a longterm CarPlay subscription.

Article Link: BMW No Longer Charging Monthly Fee for CarPlay in Cars With Newest Software
 
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iGeneo

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2010
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Just here to see how this gets spun into BMW is evil thread.

At the end of the day, they did a pricing exercise, it met negative feedback and they listened to the consumer. Thats how business rolls people. Kudos to BMW
 

BlargKing

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2014
469
814
NewBrunswick, Canada
It's unbelievable that BMW is trying to make money. What a bunch of greedy corporate running dogs!

Cars should be free! Everything should be free! Just like in the worker's paradise of the USSR! Those were the days, comrades, when we could ride our Volgas and marvel at the glory of our society.
Except in this case you can buy cars at a fraction of the cost of a Bloated Money Waste that don't charge a fee to use a functionality thats built into the car's head unit.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,356
2,074
The subscription profit center on a high end auto brand idea dies, thankfully.

Senior executive, who'd previously spent time in silicon valley, and came up with carplay subscription idea reportedly said "Tragic lack of vision by higher ups here. Already had several additional profit center projects lined up. Like the Fill Up convenience package (subscription to enable remote fuel filler door release), the Access package (subscription to enable FOB to lock and unlock vehicle doors) and, my personal favorite - the Fresh Air package (subscription to enable window switches in the vehicle to work)." He continued: "Since everything goes through a computer now (so things can be enabled / disabled on demand) its just a sin not to exploit, er um, provide customers with these subscription opportunities..." /s
 
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skippermonkey

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
312
712
Bath, UK
I tried the free demo and just found that the built-in infotainment (Deezer subscription) and sat nav was already great. Never worried me that I couldn't use CarPlay. I assume I can use it to for free now, which is okay, I guess.
 
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Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
639
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The only thing dumber than BMW's arrogance are the folks that actually paid for the activation. After 7 new ones, I stopped buying BMW's when I asked myself why I knew my service advisor's name, his wife's name, his kids names, his dog's name, his boat's name and near all of his life story. That's a lot of visits to replace continually updated versions of the same failed components.

They made decent and fun cars until electronics were introduced. That is a science totally beyond their comprehension.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,636
1,414
It's unbelievable that BMW is trying to make money. What a bunch of greedy corporate running dogs!

Cars should be free! Everything should be free! Just like in the worker's paradise of the USSR! Those were the days, comrades, when we could ride our Volgas and marvel at the glory of our society.
In this case, they are/were being greedy. Changing for something Apple created and every other carmaker is not charing for...
 

Will.O.Bie

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
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Just here to see how this gets spun into BMW is evil thread.

At the end of the day, they did a pricing exercise, it met negative feedback and they listened to the consumer. Thats how business rolls people. Kudos to BMW
I agree. If you don't like their business model, don't buy the cars. They disclose this beforehand at the dealership. I chose to pay for the subscription because I wanted the convenience of CarPlay. I welcome this change and don't expect other services BMW offers to follow.
 
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Appurushido

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
260
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Whoever was the marketing genius at BMW should be dumbfounded. No should have paid for it from the start, especially since it was something that was free from every other car manufacturer from the get go. Got to wonder if that person(s) is looking for a new job now.
 

AnorexicPig

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2012
369
17
Winnipeg,Canada
Except in this case you can buy cars at a fraction of the cost of a Bloated Money Waste that don't charge a fee to use a functionality thats built into the car's head unit.
You can also buy phones and laptops at a fraction of cost of Apple products. Let people who can afford enjoy things instead of spouting vile stuff on how people spend their money.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
9,407
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Vilano Beach, FL
Other than a small development effort up front, they had no recurring infrastructure costs, it makes way more sense to simply make is part of the value proposition of the vehicle.

I was happy to hear that just recently Ford made their app access to the car - for things like remote start, lock, daily diags/status (fule, oil, tire pressure), etc., free moving forward. They, like most manufacturers had been charging, after the free year expired. I guess in the competitive automotive landscape, they - like BMW - also figured out, it's better to make that part of the ownership value and not milk people buying their product for another $100/year.

Heck our DD/RT service for those things ran out, and it was like $250/year to reactivate, which is obscene, that should be free (especially with a Sirius sub, but that's separate). A recent app update did make at least the app based vehicle info still available without a sub, so that $250 is just for remote start/lock :rolleyes:
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 603
Sep 12, 2017
5,537
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Sunnyvale, CA
Just here to see how this gets spun into BMW is evil thread.

At the end of the day, they did a pricing exercise, it met negative feedback and they listened to the consumer. Thats how business rolls people. Kudos to BMW
It was a very customer-hostile and foolish pricing exercise, which could easily have been predicted to be met with extremely negative feedback.

It was completely unnecessary, and only succeeded in pissing off their (decreasingly) loyal buyers—which they are free to do, if they so wish. Which they apparently did.

That’s not how a smart business rolls, and no kudos are due. Whoever implemented that little doozie without any market research should probably be fired, as they don’t understand how a stupid pricing exercise can lead to a loss of hard-earned customer goodwill, as well as potentially lasting brand damage. Penny wise and pound foolish.
 
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