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BMW is Holding CarPlay Hostage, Hiding the Feature Behind a Yearly Pay Wall

Nope, we’re not kidding.

In this day and age, it seems like everything has become a subscription service. From the music that we listen to all the way to the shows that we watch, everyone wants to get their hands on a couple of extra bucks.

In some cases, we can see where this would be helpful. After all, with everything streaming, maybe it would be cheaper to piece out channels. Most cable packages seem to include tons of channels that we never even consider watching anyway. Other times, though these subscription services can seem like a bit of a cash grab. With what BMW has announced as an added cost for 2019 model year vehicles and up is going to hurt a little.

Instead of allowing the people who just dropped major coin to access all of their car’s hardware, they’re going to up the ante. That’s right, the German automaker figured out a way to charge users to use hardware in their own cars. This is the hardware that said users are most certainly already paying for in the first place upon purchase.

The CarPlay system that’s integrated into many newer vehicles will mate an iPhone and a head unit. Essentially, it’s supposed to be an easier way to control one’s iPhone with stereo controls. However, instead of just selling the hardware, there will now be an added cost.

We’re told that the subscription will come yearly at the cost of $80 or $300 for a 20-year subscription.

BMW will be the one and only manufacturer to charge for Apple CarPlay. Every other brand that includes the feature just offers it upfront. The real head-scratcher with this one is that there’s no real service being provided here. CarPlay simply mirrors the user’s phone. This means that it’s not something that has to be updated or maintained. In other words, it looks like BMW is going to be charging something while delivering nothing in return.

We’re not sure how the public is going to take this one. Is it only a matter of time before people can no longer buy vehicles and need to “subscribe” to them?