The Subscription Economy expands: BMW to Charge $80 Annual Fee for Apple CarPlay

More on the Subscription Economy. This time, the automotive industry.

We’re used to paying a monthly fee for roadside assistance. We’re used to paying a monthly fee for car insurance. We’re used to paying a monthly fee for the financing of the vehicle.

But now BMW charging a monthly fee to access hitherto free radio and maps? Given Apple doesn’t charge carmakers for CarPlay, this seems a bit rich. It may well be that BMW wants to push their own second-rate operating system, iDrive, so is punishing people who would otherwise prefer Apple’s excellent CarPlay.

I can’t see this going down too well with consumers. If the objective was to raise money from CarPlay users, then they might have considered an Apple Music / Spotify / services / cheapest fuel near me / data subscription. But to charge just for an operating system? It’s just a defensive move.

This is another prime example of internal perspectives and products blocking superior user experience.

Constantine Frantzeskos

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