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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Over the past two weeks, an increasing number of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have experienced Bluetooth audio issues in vehicles. The majority of users experiencing problems appear to be BMW owners, regardless of model, but other vehicle brands such as Hyundai and Kia appear to be involved in limited cases.

bluetooth-iphone-7-bmw.jpg

The issues range from audio cutting out to connectivity issues with infotainment systems. BMW users in particular report being able to stream music for about 5-10 seconds, at which point the ConnectedDrive system freezes. Fixing the system requires restarting the iPhone, but the issue reemerges once the connection is reestablished.

MacRumors reader YachtMac posted in our discussion forums:
My iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 10.0.2 will not stream audio for more than a few seconds in a BMW 4 series with the latest multimedia software. I have researched the issue and others with BMWs and other makes seem to be experiencing the same or similar streaming issues. Moreover, once the fault occurs the mobile telephone connection then becomes flakey as well. The only thing I can do is to disable the audio streaming option in order to have a phone that works in the car as a phone.
Apple Support Communities member Chandy911 echoed the same problem:
I just upgraded to an iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 10.0.1 and I am having issues playing music through Bluetooth on BMW ConnectedDrive. I've upgraded the BMW software on my car to the latest version from BMW's website, but I still get disconnected on Bluetooth after about 5-10 seconds after playing music. I've tried to restore the phone and set it up as a new phone. I've deleted the connection both on the device and car, but the issue persists.
MacRumors reader PorscheRain:
iPhone 7 in 2015 BMW 235i disconnects from Bluetooth after steaming audio for 10 seconds. Once disconnected, iOS no longer sees the vehicle's Bluetooth source. The only recourse is to forget the device in Settings and repair with the vehicle. I've isolated iOS as not the key issue (iPhone SE works fine on the same iOS 10.0.1, so did my prior iPhone 6s). Apple had me swap out the device at the store; the same thing is occurring on the new iPhone 7.
BMW itself has acknowledged the issues and said it is working with Apple to ensure iPhone 7 compatibility in its vehicles:
We are aware of the concerns you speak of and we are currently working directly with Apple to ensure iPhone 7 compatibility in our vehicles. At this time, the Apple iPhone 7 is not an approved device for our vehicles until testing has completed. We do not currently have an estimated time frame regarding the completion of iPhone 7 testing. Please continue to look for an update from Apple for a new iOS and our update website to help resolve your concerns: www.bmw.com/update. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
Apple has seemingly told some customers the fix will be included in an upcoming software update. The issue is still present on iOS 10.1 beta. BMW owners are recommended to update to the latest version of ConnectedDrive as a preparative measure. BMWs equipped with CarPlay do not appear to be affected.

These types of issues have been seen before. In 2014, some users experienced trouble pairing their devices to their vehicles via Bluetooth after upgrading to iOS 8 or purchasing a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Apple fixed the issues in iOS 8.1. Similar issues affecting some iPhone SE users were addressed in iOS 9.3.2.

Article Link: iPhone 7 and BMW Owners Experiencing Bluetooth Audio Issues
 

Dwalls90

Contributor
Feb 5, 2009
5,246
3,529
I don't recall having this issue on my 2016 3 series, but generally plug my device in using lightning.

I'm going to try repairing the device after resetting network settings, and see if I have any of these cited issues. I didn't think the bluetooth chip in the 7's was different from that of the 6S', or at least not a different bluetooth standard, but maybe I'm missing something here.
 

spooned12000rpm

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
143
16
York, UK
I don't think this is an iPhone 7 issue nor a BMW ONLY issue. I think it's an iOS 10.x.x issue.

I'm on 10.1 PB, and I have the same problem when my iPhone 6 is paired to my Sena 20S (motorcycle bluetooth headset).

- Jon
Yeah, everyone seems to be forgetting all the issues with iOS 8 and Bluetooth that was fixed after 2-3 updates
 

iLoveMyApple

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2008
919
95
Southern California
I have an issue in my 2016 Scion iM. It'll start playing from the phone speakers first and then go through the car's speakers about 10 seconds later. Sometimes it won't go through the car at all, but will automatically start playing on my phone, and I have to change sources to FM and then switch back to Bluetooth streaming for it to start playing through the car's speakers. It's really annoying, but I had this issue on my 6s Plus after I updated to iOS 10, so it seems to be an iOS 10 issue for me.
 
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Nautilus007

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2007
2,446
687
U.S
This is driving me insane, every few minutes the phone stops playing music and requires a bluetooth reset or toggle to fix. I also find it irritating my 2016 50 thousand dollar car can't be upgraded to CarPlay that comes with the 2017's......this is 2016 people bluetooth issues should not be a thing anymore....its crazy that these companies are not held accountable, honestly its sort of a safety issue as well.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
They can always use the headph... oh no.

Or perhaps they can just plug it into the USB port which charges and streams higher quality audio at the same time. The headphone jack is the last thing I would want to use in my BMW.

Is Apple even test their products anymore?

I do find this surprising considering the high number of BMWs which must inhabit the Cupertino campus parking lot. You'd think this would have been discovered much earlier.
 

Attirex

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
746
1,855
beverly hills plastic surgeons who are on MR forums launch epic bmw vs. mercedes battle in 3....2...1....
 
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