- Jul 30, 2012
- HD4600 / RX 570
- Mobile Phone
When you think about it a little, it certainly is possible for Apple to attempt this. They have cash to burn and can hire the best people away from other companies as well as people like Jony Ive on staff with a major interest in car design. In California, especially in the larger cities having your own car is as important as having your own smart phone for daily usage. A very small % of the population uses any
public transport on a daily basis. The result is cars idling in hours long traffic jams dumping more
pollutants into the air. Everyone who works at Apple has experienced this. They want smarter, cleaner
cars for themselves and everyone else who can afford one. I highly doubt that they plan to actually
build millions of cars a year like the big automakers in the US, Europe and Asia. What will they do ?
They'll try getting more of their software and tech into cars even if they don't mass produce cars. My guess is that they aren't going to ever compete with the likes of Toyota in world wide car sales but they will still greatly influence the direction of the industry i.e the tech that goes into cars. I could see them selling a small number of high end electric cars, less than 20,000 a year. Similar to what Tesla sells. It
will be designed to make a statement. You'll see most of the Hollywood stars driving one, while they
are wearing their $17,000 gold Apple watch. The target customer will not be blue collar working
families. The good news is that this car will motivate other car makers to build a more affordable
Smart car that the middle class worker can afford to buy without taking out a 2nd mortgage.
Producing thinner and lighter smartphones with bigger screens isn't really much of a challenge anymore and Apple needs some new direction like this to stay "hungry and foolish." BTW, how could you handle a 6.9 inch iPhone 7 + ??? Would be a perfect fit in the hand of Andre the Giant but not many other people in the world. Maybe it will replace the iPad Mini which has had lagging sales lately. But I digress.
The proposed Apple car will have to carry your whole body inside of it, not just your words, images and ideas to another location, and do that safely. Not a minor undertaking for a phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer maker. This is what I believe is most likely to happen, that no one else has yet mentioned in anything I've read. Apple will use it's in house design talent and software/tech expertise to
produce the Apple concept car, possibly build a prototype and then partner with either BMW or Mercedes to supply many of the major components of the car such as the chassis.
Apple is currently designing it's own A series chips for phones and tablets and then has TSMC or Samsung produce the chips. In this scenario it would be no different. Any of the two previously mentioned automakers would fit perfectly with Apple's identity as a premium brand. Steve Jobs did love his silver Mercedes SL5 AMG. He would lease a brand new one every 6 months ! The Austrian company Magna Steyr is probably the best candidate to build the car for Apple. Their customers already include the likes of Mercedes and BMW.
You might be asking yourself, "Why not make these new Apple cars in Detroit with GM, for instance." These will be very high tech cars that will be much more complicated to build than anything that has ever come out of Detroit. It would be great if the Apple car could be made in the USA just like the new 2013 Mac Pro. The reality is that the first few generations of the Apple car will be made in Europe.
Hopefully the prices will come down to levels that the middle class can afford and production eventually shifts to the USA. The price of the first iPod released in 2001 was around $400 and it sold poorly for the first two years of production. It really sold well once the touchscreen version came out in 2007. Then
consumers didn't mind paying the higher prices compared to other music players. It had the "cool"
factor and the iTunes music store to buy content by then.
In the US people need to have their own car and don't take well to using public transport. A fully electric smart vehicle would help to reduce the ICE's impact on global warming, help prevent auto accidents and also reduce the noise problems in larger cities. With Apple's recent interest in Solar power this new car
may even have solar panels integrated into the roof, trunk and front hood, free charging while you're
sitting in a parking lot or driving. This will help stretch out the distances you can drive between charges
and help reduce the anxiety of new electric car drivers.
Here is a famous quote from Steve Jobs: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” There will be many new and unique features in the Apple Car that the major
Proof of Concept
Proof of Concept
auto makers haven't even dreamed of yet. That is the reason why Apple will build a smart car within
the next 5 years. If they don't the auto industry will continue to make the "same old stuff" that they
always have. Could you imagine still using a cell phone today that has physical keyboard keys on it ?
To conclude, Apple will build and sell a moderate amount of Smart Cars to demonstrate what their
software and tech gadgets can potentially do. This will bring the automobile to a level of sophistication
on par with what is coming from Silicon Valley in California. Then when the current auto makers find that there is demand for what Apple is offering in a Smart Car, they will incorporate Apple products into the cars they build. The iPhone and iOS has been copied in so many ways by so many companies and Apple has received nothing for their work to create it, from most of them. These innovations that Apple will put on display in their new car will get a massive amount of media coverage and the bigger automakers will soon start building these into their own cars. We'll see if Apple's patents will help them get adequately compensated for their new smart car tech.
What do you think about all these recent Apple Car rumors ?
Take a look at this Cult of Mac article that states that Apple has now legally defined
itself as a maker of "vehicles of locomotion." Very interesting.