Many car enthusiasts were surprised when BMW decided to begin charging its customers of $80 per year for the use of Car Play after the first year. Many were wondering why the automaker suddenly charges for what used to be one of the features of its base models aside from the fact that Apple does not charge anything for licensing. But, it seems that the Bavarian automaker has a more valid reason behind its most recent move.
Initially, car enthusiasts assumed that BMW is charging its customers for Apple Car Play to rake in additional revenue from its customers. However, this is not the case for the popular automaker, and it seems that it is just getting ahead of the times. Car and Driver reported that according to a representative from BMW, one of the reasons why they are now charging for the Apple Car Play every year is because the company spent for the testing and engineering to make the feature work.
This is just one of the many reasons; another is when BMW owners update the code of the Car Play. The BMW representative explains that when a new update is rolled out, there is a possibility that several snippets of code will not function well with the BMW's infotainment system. When this happens, the complexity of wireless Car Play increases.
At first, the BMW move may sound outrageous but if you dig deeper it sounds fair enough considering the cost. Aside from that, there is a greater risk of technology not getting updated, especially the frustration of hindered functionality because of bugs. Additionally, the security aspect must be considered along with the ever-increasing after-sales support that many automakers now face.
The technology used by BMW to its vehicles is a bit more complex and could be vulnerable to various glitches every time Apple rolls out an update to Car Play. It is just logical that such updates must be first tested within BMW to evaluate and find any possible issues that might arise before it is released to the BMS owners. But there are still car enthusiasts that argue about the decision of the Bavarian automaker.
So far, BMS is the only carmaker that requires an annual fee to its consumers who want to avail of the Car Play after a year. Other automakers face the same dilemma when it comes to technology and after-sale development costs. It is worth noting that the BMW-based Toyota Supra offers Apple Car Play for free and does not charge any annual subscription fee at all.