Currently reading: BMW U-turns on Apple CarPlay subscription fees in UK
BMW to make software standard on most models for the lifetime of the car, rather than charge customers after the first 12 months

BMW is set to announce today that it has reversed its controversial decision to charge Apple CarPlay users £85 per year.

Launched in 2018 with the brand’s latest ‘7.0’ operating system, customers received a year's free subscription to the service, which lets users synchronise their iPhone with the car’s infotainment system. After 12 months, owners were asked if they wanted to let the subscription lapse or pay £85 for another year’s access.

Now, a BMW spokesperson claims, the system will be free for the lifetime of the car on all models operating the latest infotainment system. Models that aren’t, such as the BMW i3, i8 and runout examples of the 2 Series and 4 Series, will need to pay £235 for a lifetime subscription.

Customers who've already paid for a year’s or three year's subscription in models now not affected will be offered free unlimited subscription instead, it's claimed.

Apple claims it doesn't charge car manufacturers a fee to use CarPlay, but costs are incurred in integrating it with the car’s screen. Most manufacturers factor this into the list or lease price of the model, but BMW was the first to decide to pass that cost onto the customer and give them a choice.


Analysis: Why everyone could have to pay for Apple CarPlay in the future

New BMW i4: Tesla Model 3 rival to produce 523bhp

BMW design boss defends radical styling direction


Read our review

Car review

In compelling 320d guise, Munich’s seventh-generation 3 Series successfully reclaims compact executive class honours

Join the debate

Add a comment…
huggy59 9 December 2019

not necessarily free

Seeing this I just looked at the BMW portal, the options for my car when new 6 weeks ago were a £1 trial and then the normal annual subscrition costs if I wanted 12 months subscription. 

BMW have remvoed these fromt he portal BUT replaced it with a £265 apple carplay preperation fee - WHAT preperation fee ?  my car was all set and prepared for carplay and now they have free subscription they want £265 up front.

Another examle of German car indstry giving all to U.S market but not ours, trading standards need to be involved here 

xxxx 5 December 2019


Agreed, I'm still using a secondhand Windows phone (brilliant by the way) but I'd never pay £300 on top a £30k car, but, I'll have it for free and then not use it

Peter Cavellini 5 December 2019

Not that much....

 When you see what some of us are prepared to pay for a mobile phone, you have to wonder about all the uproar about such a small amount for Android and Apple CarPlay,