In July, BMW announced that it was introducing a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay use on its models, essentially charging customers for a function that is free to use in cars from other makes. Less than half a year after that big song and dance, the company has pulled the plug on the subscription fee, meaning that there will be no charge imposed for the service.
The termination of the subscription to the service was announced in markets that it has been introduced in, such as the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as Malaysia – we reached out to BMW Malaysia earlier and was told that the company is no longer charging any fees for the Apple CarPlay service on local models equipped with it.
At its point of introduction, BMW Malaysia offered four tiers to choose from for the subscription service, which was referred to as Apple CarPlay Preparation. The plans were available through the BMW ConnectedDrive Customer Portal, in the Connected Drive Store.
Pricing started with a trial option for RM5, renewable for up to three months and meant for those who wanting to try out the feature before committing. A 12-month plan was priced at RM513, while a 36-month/three-year plan went for RM799 and unlimited access, for RM1,899.
The automaker initially said that it had nothing to gain from the decision to impose a fee, and that the move was actually a global directive from Apple, later explaining that the subscription was due to wireless connectivity adding complexity and incurring extra cost in integration. It’d be interesting to find out just how many users paid for the service, and how many that didn’t screamed about having to do so. Sounds like many screamed loud enough.
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