What? It's not for free?
In today's ever-growing world of tech, especially in new cars and trucks, features that were once optional are quickly becoming standard. Large touchscreens, for example, used to be limited to only the most luxurious vehicles. Not anymore. Vehicles for the common folk are now equipped with lots of standard infotainment and safety tech. It's all quite impressive how much has changed in a short period of time. Even Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features in affordable vehicles like Kias.
But Jalopnik has uncovered something new BMW owners definitely will not like. The luxury German automaker has confirmed it will charge a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay for drivers of 2019 models onward. It should be noted that buyers will receive one year's access for free, but it will cost $80 per year from then on. We previously reported on this issue a year and a half ago and BMW clearly refuses to change its mind.
There's also the option to purchase a lifetime subscription for $300. This may not be the best choice for customers who don't plan on owning the vehicle for that long. Leasing has become immensely popular these days and there's no such thing as a two-decade-long lease. Point being it might be best to pay the yearly fee instead. Or, alternatively, new BMW owners will simply allow their Apple CarPlay subscription to expire after the free trial year.
BMW does not even offer Android Auto connectivity so there's no point in switching from an iPhone to Android. Perhaps BMW owners can instead focus on experiencing the 'ultimate driving machine' instead of messing around with their smartphones. Isn't that why people buy BMWs? Because they enjoy driving?
Of course, but BMW is now a mainstream luxury brand and it appeals to those solely seeking luxury and status. Can they afford to pony up the $80 annual fee? Easily, but that's not the point. If new Kias, Hyundais and all other non-luxury brands are offering both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard without any additional costs, then why is BMW doing what it's doing? Because it wants to keep the initial price of the vehicle down.