BMW ICOM A2 vs A3 V1.38 vs A3 Pro+ V1.40.05

Newest BMW ICOM A3 Pro+ V1.40.05 diagnostic programming tool is available now. Its internal board is built-in with WIFI chip and the internal WIFI chip works together with a wireless adapter to connect the laptop. ICOM A3 Pro+ mux via WIFI adapter, A3 Pro+ will communicate with the laptop wirelessly and then perform diagnosis programming function on all BMW vehicles e.g BMW Cars, BMW Motorcycle, Rolls-Royce, Mini Cooper. ICOM A3 V1.38 is no Wi-Fi connection.

WIFI Adapter for ICOM A3 Pro+


This writing aims to make clear the differences and similarities among BMW ICOM A2, ICOM A3 and ICOM A3 Pro+. So if you are confused about which one to choose, below information may be helpful.

What are the differences between ICOM A2, ICOM A3 and ICOM A3 Pro+?

  • Appearance

BMW ICOM A2 V1.37 outlook and ports (Item NO.SP168 and SP168-BO)


ICOM A3 V1.38 outlook and ports (Item No. SP234 and SP234-B)

ICOM A3 V1.38 with software (SP234)


ICOM A3 V1.38 without software (SP234-B)


SP234-B has no software in package. Users can buy it in addition.

ICOM A3 V1.40.05 with WIFI outlook and ports (Item No. SP234-C1 and SP234-C)


  • BMW ICOM Firmware Download check following:

How to Update Super Version BMW ICOM A2 Firmware

How to Update ICOM, ICOM A1 and Common version ICOM A2 Firmware

What are the similarities between ICOM A2, ICOM A3 and ICOM A3 Pro+?

  • BMW ICOM Software (Authorized)

BMW ICOM A2 and ICOM A3 share the same software version. If there is any upgrade version released please check our website.

The Newest BMW ICOM Software Instruction:

No. Software Name Software Function
1. ISPI-NEXT Admin tool
2. ISPI Admin Client ISPI-NEXT Authorization management and environment Configuration software
3. ISTA+ Diagnostic and repair guide, including Diagrams and disassembly Figure
4. ISTA-P(ISSS-NEXT) Programming and coding software system
5. HDD-Update  Navigation Software upgrade back-office services (function with ISTA-P, need to Import map files)
6. KSD Work software
7. ETK Accessories Catalog
8. E-SYS Engineer Software for F series (available for programming and coding)
9. WINKFP Engineer Software for E series, for programming
10. NCS-Expert tool Engineer Software for E series, for coding E
11. INPA Engineer Software for E series, for diagnosis
12. Tool32 Engineer Software for E series, able to run directly
13. BMW Coding Tool Auxiliary Software of Engineer Software for E series (Available to import model data to WINKFP and NSC)
14. Ncs Dummy Auxiliary Software of Engineer Software for E series (Available to modify NCS data)
15. ITool Radar Used to recognize ICOM, activate or release ICOM Port
16. Easy Connect Used to Configure the Environment Parameter of Engineer Software for E series, can activate or release ICOM Port


Please do not update ICOM, otherwise it will not work, for example when I click “Diagnose” the system will get prompt saying “send email to obtain ISTA/D license, license warning.”, then the diagnostic function and programming not work. The solution is to send back main unit to the supplier.

  • BMW ICOM Function

BMW ICOM A2 and BMW ICOM A3 share the same main functions: BMW Diagnosis, Programming, Coding and Car Modifying

3) BMW ICOM Support Vehicles:

BMW Cars, BMW Motorcycle, Rolls-Royce, Mini Cooper

4) BMW ICOM Laptop Requirement: EVG7, DELL D630 or others with required configuration.

Reset the computer system date and time to the current time

Set to achi mode

Advise you use Lenovo or Dell with CPU 2.0 above and memory with 4GB.

OS: It depends on which version of BMW Rheingold ICOM interface run with.

Otherwise the ICOM will freeze when boot.

Other Information:

1) BMW ICOM Operating System

Generally speaking, ICOM software is tested ok on Win 7 and win8. It depends on the hard disk you got, usually the supplier will mark the required OS when you purchase.

2) Internal hard disk or external hard disk?

Following are some views from other users:

External hard drive is a much more versatile solution, and it was my initial choice. If laptop broke, you could just plug it into another machine.

Only downside is it’s a lot slower than running it from disk, because of VMW are overhead.

Now I have it loaded on a machine-specific hard drive which I have installed in the machine. It is much faster.

If you use it 2 or 3 times a year, a VM solution is perfectly fine. I did that for a few years myself.

If you use it quite a bit (with 3 MB’s in the house hold, I use it all the time) then go machine-specific hard drive.

Also remember the external hard drive hangs off the machine and can be damaged as you move the laptop around. If you pick up the laptop, the USB drive unplugs, then it will fall to the ground and you’re cooked.

Internal is so much nicer because now I just have the multiplexer and laptop to carry to the car. Nothing needs to unplug or fall off.


  • Common HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive)?

Generally speaking, SSD is stable with 256GB at higher price. However, common HDD with 500GB is at lower price.

SSD VS HDD compared at running speed:


SSD VS HDD: What’s the difference?

The content is fully informed at:


BMW ICOM A2 and BMW ICOM A3 share the same software version, functions and support vehicle range but differ in appearance, hardware and operating system. ICOM A3 Pro+ is light weight, small size, more compatible and has stronger stability, better heat dissipation and higher quality hardware. Besides, it has more reasonable price than ICOM A2 now. In a nutshell, choose which one depends on your own need.