BMW to Charge $80 a Year for CarPlay – is MINI Next?

For 2018 BMW is changing its CarPlay pricing from a one-time $300 option to a $80 a year subscription fee. While both approaches don’t sit well with us, the $80 a year subscription pricing is particularly egregious. BMW has gone on record in saying that it actually represents a slight reduction in cost for those who lease vehicles for three years. But for those who buy second-hand or keep their vehicles for many years, it clearly represents additional cost. Not substantial cost mind you, but enough to give owners a bad taste in their mouth for a brand that they should love.

Will MINI follow? It’s unclear as MINI typically pricing technology in similar ways but still has autonomy to follow their own course. If the backlash is large enough (it’s trending that way) we suspect MINI will stay away from the subscription model.

However if you own a BMW and want to have your voice heard, we recommend reaching out directly to BMWNA via phone, email, twitter or DM through various social channels.

  • darex

    Perhaps BMW would like to subscribe to my dog’s farts?

    How can they possibly justify charging for a subscription to a service that they do not even themselves provide? CarPlay is paid for and generated by my phone and its data plan. BMW has no input in to the matter!

    Are they going to ask us to subscribe to the temperature, or to FM radio next?

    This has to be a hoax!

    • Mendel Tomas

      If it was April 1st, I may agree with you that this could be a hoax.

    • mike

      Dont forget that you can currently buy an aftermarket Carplay stereo without a subscription. I dont understand the logic here. For $80/mo you can have a pretty sweet stereo in a year if you save up.

      • Eric

        You really want to install an aftermarket stereo in a F56 Mini ?

        • mike

          Why not? Is the screen to unique of a shape? I haven’t used an F56 infotainment, but I guess you’re right that modern car’s screens may be too hard to replace with aftermarket. Its a shame, because there are some really fantastic aftermarket systems out there.

          My larger point was that its ridiculous to charge a subscription for something that aftermarket and every other auto manufacturer gives away for free.

        • Mendel Tomas

          Unfortunately, you can’t replace the stock stereo in F54/5/6/7 Minis since the stereo itself controls a number of the car’s functions.

    • Jaymes Deen

      You mad bro

  • Mendel Tomas

    Seriously? That’s nickel and dime BS! That’s how you piss off and alienate your customers.

    • Jaymes Deen

      Oh yeah I can see it now, “I wont buy that car cause it doesn’t have Carplay”…….. considering that half of Cellphone owners out there have Androids…. do you hear them Crying like little girls?

      Do you hear them saying, hey how come I dont have MINI Connected, MINI hates us blah blah.

      • Johnny Boots

        And what makes you think this doesn’t set the precedence to charge for Android Auto as well?

  • Don’t know how things are on the BMW iDrive side of the house…

    But after how BMW/MINI promoted that functionality would improve over time with Connected since it was “app based” instead of dependent on the ICE hardware, and instead have been reducing functionality in Connected with each new reversion being one dead end after another what possible motivation could there be for me to subscribe to this?

  • Steven Strain

    Reminds me of when I worked in the hotel industry.

    Four star properties are the worst and BMW would be right at home with any Marriott or Hilton nickeling and diming their customers. Parking charges, etc

    • Johnny Boots

      Exactly, always blew my mind staying in a nice hotel only to pay $25+ to park my own car and walk through a parking garage vs. staying at a Hampton Inn and parking for free.

      This is just an extension of the German pricing that’s been going on for a decade now. Piece meal all the options, when that doesn’t make enough money, offer subscriptions. What’s next tire subscriptions?

  • Jaymes Deen

    Sorry but Screw* Carplay.

    If you all on here are getting a car based upon if it can mimic your Iphone, then feel free to go buy another car.

    A car is for driving not your home computer.

    • Mendel Tomas

      Thanks for sharing your views, but I think you missed the point.