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 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.