Are they serious?
BMW is one of the best automakers in the world when it comes to customization. Not only can BMW paint a car in almost any color, there are a ton of options that are available on almost every model. Unfortunately, this means that base BMW models can be extremely spartan. A $45,000 3 Series doesn't even come with real leather. BMW has been known to nickel and dime people for options that should probably be standard, but this has now reached an even new level. The Verge reports that BMW plans to charge a yearly fee for Apple CarPlay.
BMW already charges $300 for Apple CarPlay in models that have navigation. This was clearly a cash-grab, considering that almost every automaker offers this feature for free. Now, instead of a one-time $300 fee, BMW will charge an $80 annual fee for the ability to use Apple Car Play. Like most automakers do with satellite radio, BMW will give a free trial period for a year, but after that owners will have to pay to keep their Apple CarPlay. This is probably because once people get a taste, they may be more likely to pay for the service. We hope that other automakers don't follow in BMW's footsteps, because charging for something that is typically free is ridiculous.
Matt Bubbers, an automotive journalist, was told by BMW Canada that the pricing change was in response to Apple charging automakers for CarPlay. However, Cnet was abel to prove this information false. It doesn't seem like BMW has any great reason to justify this price change, and it is yet another way that the company seeks to make money from options that should be free. Perhaps BMW has to find some way to make money now that it can no longer charge extra for backup cameras.