In a puzzling move, BMW Canada has announced that it will start charging subscription fees for using Apple CarPlay in 2019 model year vehicles.
In comparison, competing carmakers like Mercedes-Benz and Audi usually offer the service for free or as part of a package paid upfront.
For Canadian 2019 BMW owners who have access to the in-vehicle Apple CarPlay feature, BMW will charge $100 CAD for 12 months of usage or $400 for 240 months.
It seems that the pricing structure incentivizes owners who like to keep their BMWs for years to choose the more expensive tier because it offers 20 years of Apple CarPlay at $400. If they opt for the lower tier, four years of service translates to an equal amount of payment.
Even though Apple CarPlay is a free add-on for a newly configured 2019 BMW in Canada, the latest policy change has essentially turned it into a paid option.
Like Google’s Android Auto set to get a styling refresh, Apple CarPlay is Cupertino’s solution to turn your current infotainment system into a driving-friendly extension of your iPhone through a wired or wireless connection.
However, for vehicles without a touch-enabled infotainment screen, drivers may have to use knobs and buttons to interact with the CarPlay interface.
Source: BMW Canada