BMW To Turn CarPlay Into $80 Subscription-Based Service In US

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BMW is planning to make Apple CarPlay a subscription-based service rather than a one-time option, according to The Verge. Now, BMW customers who are not fond of the iOS or the Apple’s smartphone integration system for the car, will have a choice.

Subscription-based CarPlay – may cost less

Speaking to The Verge on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show, Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America said, “This allows the customer to switch devices. A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.”

Android Auto has yet to debut on BMWs, but according to Smith, they are planning to launch the service in BMW models later in 2018.

As of now, BMW has not stated whether its subscription service would be available outside the U.S. But for sure the luxury vehicle maker does not have any plans to offer the service for free to iPhone users. CarPlay was introduced last year, whereas the wireless CarPlay came with the 5-series and iDrive 6.0.

At present, BMW new car owners spend $300 as an option for Apple CarPlay, available in all BMW 2017 and above models. Smith stated that the annual fee could turn out to be even cheaper for those with an average length lease. The total cost after four years (after the first free year) would be $240, less than the onetime $300 charge. However, customers who plan to keep their BMW for longer would end up paying more.

Subscription plans for new cars

Apart from the CarPlay subscription service, BMW is also considering automotive subscription plans. Such plans would be inclusive of all the fees, such as the car ownership or leasing, maintenance, and insurance under one payment.

Speaking to Automotive News, BMW of North America CEO, Bernhard Kuhnt said, “We are in the phase of looking at it and evaluating together with BMW Financial Services. And if we are going to do it, we are going to pilot it first to learn more about it.”

Such subscription plans are growing popular nowadays among both automakers and customers. Big names such as Cadillac, Audi and Porsche already offer such plans, allowing users to have a simplified payment structure and an easy way to swap to a new car. Mercedes-Benz also plans to try out the subscription-based model for their cars.

Other Apple CarPlay-related announcements

Separately, at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show there were more CarPlay-related announcements. Toyota announced to bring the CarPlay service to its cars. Toyota Avalon, which will release in 2019, will be the first Toyota car to come with CarPlay. CarPlay would debut as a part of the Toyota Entune 3.0 system. Toyota also mentioned that Apple CarPlay would be standard across all 2019 Avalon models.

It seems Toyota has finally accepted Apple and Google Infotainment systems. Initially, the automaker stood against both the tech giants in a bid to prevent them from taking over the in-car experience, notes 9to5mac. Furthermore, CarPlay will also be seen in many new trucks, including the 2019 RAM 1500.

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