Car review veers off track into ode to Apple iPhone: ‘Why doesn’t Apple make a car?’

Apple’s iPhone “sits in the pantheon of great inventions alongside the wheel, fire and Sky+,” Jeremy Clarkson writes amidst a car review (Daihatsu Materia) for The Times. “It’s one of those things that come into your life and you think: ‘How in the name of God did I ever manage without it?'”

Clarkson writes, “Sure, the camera, as has been suggested, can’t take pictures if it’s too dark, too bright or something in between, but everything else is brilliant. You type out texts on a proper qwerty keyboard, and even if you make a mistake it uses witchcraft to correct the error. And then there’s the telephone, which comes with big, special-needs numbers that you can’t miss even if you have fingers like burst sausages. And on top of this, it’s an iPod.”

Clarkson writes, “Problems? Honestly, there aren’t any. I’ve had mine hacked so it works on Vodafone, and I’m sorry, but the battery is fine. It lasts for four days. Though this might have something to do with the fact that I’m a man, and therefore only think to use a phone when I’m on a cliff, clinging to a branch, in a howling gale. And only then as a last resort.”

“This brings me on to an interesting idea. Why doesn’t Apple make a car? The fact of the matter is that the established car makers are timid and afraid of change. They think the mini MPV is a revolution and that the Smart car can be mentioned in the same breath as penicillin. This means they never think outside the box,” Clarkson writes.

“Why, for instance, does a car have a steering wheel? Or pedals? Or a dashboard? No, really. As anyone under the age of 15 will tell you, the handset for a PlayStation can be used to steer, accelerate and brake a car. And there are still spare buttons on the handset that can be used to fire machineguns,” Clarkson writes.

“And, of course, without a steering wheel or a dashboard, there’d be a lot more space in the cabin, and no need for expensive, weighty airbags. And that’s just me, thinking off the top of my head,” Clarkson writes.

Clarkson writes, “I feel fairly sure that if Apple were asked to make a car, it would come up with an automotive iPod, and within weeks we’d view the current alternatives in the same way that we now view the cassette tape, the LP and the 8-track.”

The rest of the article, if you care about a review of the Daihatsu Materia, is here.

When auto reviews become more about iPhone than the car, you know – if you didn’t know already – that Apple’s got a major hit on their hands.

67 Comments

  1. Woah, I think I’ll take a steering wheel: I’ve seen how I drive with a PS2 joystick and I don’t want to share the road with me when those things are what controls a car…

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  2. And companies will say “Apple has no experience making cars” but just as they did with the Cell Phone, Computer industry, Portable music players, the entire car industry will be revolutionary.

  3. Maybe it will take a company like Apple to finally put an electric car on the market. GM certainly cannot, and It doesn’t look as if any other company can either. They offer electric “concept” cars but that amounts to nothing more than bait for suckers.

  4. Maybe in ten or twelve years when Jobs is the richest man alive (by far). Then he’ll leave AAPL in capable hands and do something for kids with Aids and build a car and a spaceship and revolutionize pan-oceanic travel.

    MW:somewhat

  5. At the local Best Buy, the Apple desktop and notebooks outsold all Windoze based machines combined in the weeks before christmas.

    So the Phenomenon at the Big Universities has now moved to the mainstream stores in the US.

    Can we move that overseas as well?

  6. If Apple made a car it would be great. It would still be a crappy internal combustion engine, but it would get fantastic mileage. It would be well engineered like the best Germany has to offer.

    It would only work on roads built by Apple though. These would be the best roads around, but no one else would be on them, and they would only go to Apple’s front door in Cupertino.

    Meanwhile, the Microsoft cars would be everywhere. Crappy they would be, but everyone would be driving them and they’d only work on Microsoft roads, but those horrible roads full of potholes would go everywhere.

  7. With the amount of electronic on engines these days, Apple, could be innovating something. But I wouldn’t expect any car soon.

    We are in Post-Computing Times and Apple has stated this.
    Yet, if customers want it… who knows?

  8. Clarkson a wanker hey? No, I don’t think so.

    He is erudite and funny, he has no truck with the ‘elf ‘n safety brigade of liberal apparatchik goody goody tree huggers, who generally cause more wars and global warming than they avoid despite their best intentions…

    Clarkson is the hero of the common sense man.

    Even if he goes OTT on occasions.

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