Chip Shortage Sees BMW Deliver Cars Without Android Auto, Apple CarPlay

German giant BMW has shipped certain models of cars to customers without Android Auto or Apple CarPlay installed.

This emerged after Automotive News Europe reported that some customers have discovered that their newly purchased BMW does not support Android Auto or CarPlay as expected.

BMW reportedly stated this missing functionality is down to the ongoing chip shortage, which has hit the automotive sector especially hard in the past couple of years.

No chips, no music

A bit later than some of its rivals, BMW began including full support for Android Auto, CarPlay in nearly every new model it sold from 2019 and 2020.

But BMW, like many other car makers, is feeling the pain from chip shortages.

In order to maintain its production schedule, BMW changed suppliers and began using a chip that does not yet support Android Auto or CarPlay use, it seems.

The good news is that this seems to be a temporary issue for the affected car owners, as BMW reportedly told Automotive News Europe that these vehicles will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update “by the end of June at the latest”.

This will result in these vehicles being able to display full Android Auto and CarPlay capabilities.

There is no word on which particular BMW models will be without this functionality, but punters can apparently check for “6P1” in the car’s production code, to see if their model is impacted.

Either that or simply plug an Android or iPhone into the car to see if it is working.

Impacted models were apparently manufactured in the first four months of this year, and the impacted cars were shipped to the United States, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Tough times

BMW is not alone is having to make tough decisions regarding the chip shortage, with nearly all manufacturers having to temporarily suspend or reduce production.

Last year it was reported that Peugeot was dropping digital speedometers from its 308 models, in favour of more old-fashioned analogue ones, because of the chip shortage.

But Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the two leading smartphone automotive systems, and are the most common way customers can interact with their car’s infotainment system.

Both systems let car owners link their smartphones to the vehicle, and run applications such as Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, and Apple Music to name but a few.

Both systems however depend on compliant semiconductors and software.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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