6 major differences are listed below:
ICOM and ICOM A share the same appearance.
ICOM A3 designed with light weight and smaller size
All BWM ICOM system comes with three modules ICOM A, ICOM B and ICOM C
ICOM A – main adapter with OBD II connector for MOST, KCAN, DCAN
ICOM B – additional adapter for optic line, use USB connection with ICOM A
ICOM C – adapter for old vehicles with round 20-pin connector.
- ICOM Firmware/Hardware
ICOM A and ICOM A2 share the same firmware. Four firmware version optional: V1.1.8, V1.33 and V1.36, and new V1.38. Each version firmware update tool can be downloaded free here:
1.18 firmware update tool
1.33 firmware update tool
1.36 firmware update tool
1.38 firmware update tool
Best quality BMW ICOM A2 PCB display
ICOM A3 comes with firmware version: V1.37
The new ICOM A3 has a better built firmware which supports better heat dissipation feature and able to receive a significantly more powerful processor and more storage capacity. A3 comes with robust aluminum box will help to avoid damage in harsh environments when using.
3) ICOM Software:
ICOM A and ICOM A1 software: ISIS (ISTA-P) and ISID (ISTA-D), the latest version is: 2013.01.
ICOM A2 and ICOM A3 software: ISTA-D ISTA-P (or Rheingold version).
There will be newer software version released continually in the future.
ISIS/ISTA-P= programming software
ICOM A and ICOM A2 perform same function. But due to the old ICOM A module have problem in the cooling and protection design, ICOM A2 adopts the whole aluminum shell body, using aerial explosion-proof connector; and it use the joint connection line which similar to the Mercedes-Benz SDCONNECT COMPACT 4.
BWM ICOM A2 comes with Network cable, can do Fiber optical programming, but ICOM A3 does not contain Network cable, can not do Fiber optical programming.
- Operating system
ICOM A: support Win XP O/S only.
ICOM A1: Win XP and Win 7 64 bit O/S
ICOM A2: Win XP and Win 7 O/S
ICOM A3: Professional Win7 64 bit (NO Win XP)
6) Vehicle support
ICOM A2 and ICOM A3 cover the same BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce models.
- The newest version ICOM A2 works better in cooling, runs faster and works more stable, not easier broken than older ICOM.
- ICOM A3 can program all units for all BMW series expect media system.
- ICOM A3 work more stable and has stronger compatibility than ICOM A2, A1.