It appears all US-bound models will retain the popular technology.
When it became clear that COVID-19 was a severe global problem, automakers began shuttering factories and pausing operations to keep workers safe and avoid unnecessary costs. They slashed orders for critical components like microchips, thinking that demand would crater in the burgeoning deadly illness' wake. What they didn't know at the time was that consumer demand would only take a temporary dip, leaving them without enough parts to build cars.
BMW was, and like all other automakers still is, engulfed in this problem. Earlier this month, it announced that it would build some vehicles without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a way to keep production lines rolling. The brand-new and super-popular i4 EV was on the list of vehicles that would miss out on the tech, but the car's fortunes have changed for the better.
Now, the drama seems to have been all for naught, as BMW says it isn't considering removing the smartphone connectivity features from any of its vehicles, at least not in the United States. A member of the i4Talk forum claims to have reached out to BMW for confirmation and received word from a PR manager that "all cars for the U.S. will have software for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto." Funny how that word "or" seems ominous there.
The news is a positive sign for BMW, as the Bavarian automaker is knee-deep in its plans to shift half its global sales to EVs by 2030. Electric vehicles are a tough sell for many buyers, so automakers need all the help they can get, particularly when brand-new offerings like the BMW i4, iX, and upcoming i7 enter an increasingly crowded EV market.
Luckily for enthusiasts, the company plans to continue making internal combustion engines and gas-powered cars for now, but the writing is on the wall.
BMW seemingly came out on top with the chip shortage, as it was able to prioritize higher-end models. That party came to an end when the automaker announced it would ship some cars without a few majorly popular tech features. Even so, BMW isn't alone in needing to adapt to the ever-changing global supply chain environment.
Late last year, GM announced that it would remove heated and ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel option from many of its vehicles due to supply chain difficulties. While potentially annoying, the move allows automakers to continue building vehicles that people want, albeit maybe not the whole vehicle people want.