Most Expensive Apple CarPlay in New Cars – How Much Is Too Much?

Apple CarPlay has become a staple in new cars. Apple CarPlay and its counterpart, Android Auto are arguably the best way to integrate your phone with your car and streamline the driving process. Both systems keep helpful apps like Spotify, Waze, and Google Maps are well within reach.

While most manufacturers have realized these systems are something consumers now expect to be included, some have been a little slower to catch on. This could be due to the fact that it’s no longer worth it to pay for navigation options in new cars. Why would you if Waze is free and able to be cast onto your navigation screen?

Come out to CarPlay

A grey Ferrari Roma, presumably sans CarPlay, shown on stage at it's reveal in Rome.
Ferrari’s new Roma during its debut in Rome, Italy | Cheng Tingting/Xinhua via Getty

Because Apple CarPlay is such a hit with consumers, a plethora of manufacturers have begun to offer the screen-mirroring tech as a no-cost option. It seems, however, that Ferrari didn’t get the message. Or, perhaps they did and decided to nickel and dime their customers anyways, charging north of $4,000 for the software. It’s not just limited to their ultra-exclusive models either. Apple CarPlay is optional for both the Roma and its convertible twin, the Portifino, according to AutoBlog.

While those able to afford a Ferrari can certainly swing the $4,000 for Apple CarPlay, it’s not really about the money. Consumers like to know that automakers put a little care into their product, and squeezing your customer who is already paying over $200,000 for one of your cars doesn’t send a great message.

Close, but not close enough

A partially assembled BMW dash on the assembly line in their factory
The dash of a new BMW in the factory | Mauricio Palos via Getty Images

RELATED: How to Add Apple CarPlay to an Older Car

Some manufacturers got wise to this, if not a little late in the game. Back in 2019, BMW decided they wanted a piece of the Apple CarPlay pie and then dropped the whole pie. BMW began charging a subscription fee for access to Apple CarPlay to the tune of $80 a month or $300 for the “lifetime” of the vehicle according to Car and Driver. In actuality, it was a 20-year subscription, and who knows if that will really be the life of these cars. While that is a ridiculous money grab that BMW was rightly accosted for, it is somewhat understandable as to why they would do something like that.

The advent of screen-mirroring tech for your phone being added into cars has effectively killed the in-car navigation system. Some automakers wanted to claw back a little bit of those lost profits, though the morality of this is debatable. It should also be noted that BMW did eventually decide to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with navigation in their cars.

Someone’s gotta do it right

An Apple logo hanging from a glass wall outside one of their stores.
The Apple Logo displayed outside one of their stores | Wang Gang via Getty Images

If you can’t beat them, you should join them. Knowing this, automakers such as Toyota have decided to make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across much, if not all, of their models. A few others have followed suit, such as Hyundai. But Volvo has chosen a different path altogether.

It would appear that Volvo are not just pioneers of the safety realm. Their new infotainment system is based on an Android operating system and runs nearly identically to Android Auto. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android auto are still available. Now, you no longer need a phone to get the convenience and familiarity of screen-mirroring tech in a Volvo. Perhaps this is the best way to do this, giving consumers the best of both worlds