BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month – The Verge

Customer ownership does not optimize continuing revenue. Car makers want a hybrid model – you fork over tens of thousands to buy the car hardware, but then need to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the hardware you bought.

BMW is planning to charge a monthly fee to use the built-in heated seats feature and other features, such as built-in video cameras.

Charging a customer to use the hardware they already paid for is an old business model.

I once worked for a computer manufacturer (back in the days of minicomputers) that had the same amount of RAM in all versions of their systems. But they charged an upgrade fee to “add more RAM”. In reality, a service tech arrived on the customer’s site, removed the RAM board and plugged in a new one – with a switch that increased the allowable address range pre-flipped to the more RAM position. The service tech and board exchange were a charade to fool the customer!

By EdwardM