Your new BMW might not come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay interface
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Hadrian)

Volkswagen isn’t the only automotive manufacturer feeling the component shortage strain in 2022.

According to a report from Automotive News Europe (via 9to5 Google), BMW is temporarily shipping a selection of new vehicles without support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay after changing its chip supplier. 

The German brand says its new components are not currently compatible with either infotainment system, though it has clarified that affected models will receive an over-the-air software update correcting the issue by "the end of June at the latest."

While BMW hasn’t specified which of its vehicle ranges have been affected by the supplier switch, 9to5Google notes that any model with “6P1” in its production code won’t come equipped with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. 

Automotive News Europe also claims that all affected vehicles were manufactured in the first four months of 2022, with destinations including the US, UK, Italy, Spain and France. By the sounds of things, then, the issue applies to various different models across the globe. 

BMW M440i xDrive Android Auto system

The Android Auto interface in the BMW M440i xDrive (Image credit: Shutterstock / Gabriel Nica)

Naturally, BMW customers have a right to be frustrated that their vehicles may not be arriving – or haven’t arrived – fully stocked with features they’ve already paid for, but it’s worth remembering why the decision has been taken by BMW in the first instance.

Unlike Volkswagen, whose ability to deliver electric vehicles on time has been thrown into chaos by the ongoing chip shortage, BMW has opted to switch component suppliers entirely in a bid to mitigate delays as much as possible. Evidently, that switch has come at the expense of immediate support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay software, but at least the brand has pledged to rectify the issue with imminent over-the-air updates. 

Drivers may also find the trade-off easier to stomach than BMW’s previous mitigation strategy – in November 2021, the company shipped a handful of new vehicles without touchscreens and other assistance features. Affected customers were given $500-worth of credit for the inconvenience.

Unfortunately, though, a lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support isn’t likely to be the end of the story for BMW and other auto manufacturers. According to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, the global component shortage – an issue that continues to affect everything from PS5 stock to the availability of printer ink cartridges – could last until 2024.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.