BMW Drops $80 Annual Subscription Fee for Apple CarPlay

By Paul Riegler on 7 December 2019
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BMW said it would discontinue the unpopular annual subscription fee it charges some drivers to use their vehicle’s Apple CarPlay feature.

The Bavarian automaker introduced the fee in 2016, first as a one-time $300 fee and then as an annual $80 subscription. The fee did not apply to older vehicles with CarPlay functionality.  BMW was the only automaker to charge such a fee.

The company had justified the fee in part because it offers wireless CarPlay, a feature it was the first to make available on the market.  Meanwhile, Apple does not charge automakers a licensing fee to include CarPlay in their vehicles.

BMW has been a leader in the area of in-vehicle infotainment with its iDrive cockpit controller system, which is used to control most secondary functions such as navigation and entertainment within the vehicle.

It was the first automaker to offer factory Bluetooth starting with the 2003 model year and FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira was the first individual in the United States to have a BMW with Bluetooth connectivity, a 2003 530i.

In 2013, the automaker introduced the ConnectedDrive Store, which offers drivers the opportunity to purchase apps and services from within iDrive.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)