Previously, if you want to get wireless Apple CarPlay through the BMW ConnectedDrive system, you’ll need to pay a yearly subscription which costs as much as RM513 per year. Now the Bavarian automaker has decided to stop charging for subscription in several markets which also include customers in Malaysia.
As more car manufacturers are adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support into their vehicles as standard, BMW’s move charge subscription was rather controversial. In Malaysia, BMW charges RM5 for you to try it for the first month and if you intend to use it, you’ll have to pay RM513 for 12-months or RM799 for 36-months. There’s also an unlimited access option that will cost you a whopping RM1,899. As a comparison, the current KIA Picanto which costs less than RM50,000 comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support free of charge.
Obviously, many BMW owners who have already paid a premium for their vehicles weren’t happy about it. BMW had previously defended the decision, claiming that the annual fee goes into ensuring the vehicles remain compatible with future hardware and iOS releases from Apple. In addition, BMW says that wireless CarPlay is more complex than the usual cable connection and it brings a whole set of new challenges when it comes to support.
At the time of writing, the Apple CarPlay Preparation with unlimited access is listed at RM1,299 on BMW ConnectedDrive store. BMW Malaysia has confirmed with Paultan that the pricing will be removed very soon and no payment will be needed for Apple CarPlay in all BMW cars that are equipped with it.