These days it’s not uncommon to see more carmakers offer their customers options when it comes to smart infotainment systems, such as CarPlay or Android Auto, or sometimes the carmaker’s own system. However it seems that BMW wants to charge customers for that luxury in the form of an annual subscription.
Speaking to The Verge at the Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday, Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America confirmed the company’s plans, where they will charge customers $80 a year to use CarPlay in their vehicles. Now before you get up in arms over it, BMW seems to have a good reason for doing so, and the flexibility is something that customers might be able to appreciate as well.
According to Smith, “This allows the customer to switch devices. A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.” This means that customers now have the freedom of switching between systems, which at the moment BMW is charging customers $300 as an add-on option in their cars with built-in navigation.
Smith also adds that the new plans will be free for customers in their first year of ownership, meaning that if you decide to switch to a different system or stop using iPhones within 2-3 years, it could end up being cheaper than paying for the $300 option. Of course it also means in the long run it might end up costing you a lot more, but at the end of the day that’s up to customers to decide.