Toyota’s mobile app mandate: Apple’s iPhone and iPad first

“Taking a page from its post-World War II Japanese roots, embattled car maker Toyota has turned to a business philosophy known as kaizen, or fanatical focus on continuous improvement. Last summer, kaizen showed up in the company’s mobile app effort,” Tom Kaneshige reports for CIO.

“What mobile device should Toyota design for? BlackBerry? That would not have been very kaizen,” Kaneshige reports. “‘If we had developed for RIM devices first and ported to the iPhone, you could have an argument that we were dumbing down our app,’ says Michael K. Nelson, interactive communications manager at Toyota who handles ‘RIM is not a very sophisticated platform at all.'”

Kaneshige reports, “Today, Toyota is working on a tablet app that takes advantage of the iPad 2’s camera.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


    1. Ok. Which Android platform should they pick? They are not all the same. Also, didn’t the iPone grab 60% or more of the smart phone market in Japan last year?

      I would stick with the winner!

  1. Apple and toyota are the company I admire the most. I hope they join one day to make a “smart Car”
    All my devices are Apple and all my cars has been toyotas (well, one or two fords also).
    Also, all the companies I have work for have implemented Kaizen and Sig Sigma (and some of them lean manufacturing).

    So “Go on Toyota!!!!” Look for the youtube video of a guy who puts a iPad in a Toyota tacoma, and also, a iPad 2 in a Ford F-150. I have already the tacoma, I just need the a kit to adapt the ipad 🙂

    1. If Toyota or Honda collaborated with Apple, the results might be very interesting. I’d like to see Apple’s design approach applied in areas other than consumer electronics. After all, software is at the core of many modern products.

  2. Well hopefully Toyota is joining the 21st century in terms of audio for their vehicles. A year or two ago we were shopping for a new car and eliminated Toyota from our list because their cars did not even have an auxiliary input to plug in an iPod. A few months ago, my wife bought a 2008 Lexus and, true to form, it has no auxiliary audio input.

    What is with these guys at Toyota? Are they still pissed that the iPod put the Sony Walkman out of its misery?

    1. Wasn’t it covered here at MDN back 2006 that many automakers, Toyota included, were making iPod docks standard parts of the audio systems on most models?

      I remember being bummed about that because I had just purchased a 2005 Toyota at the end of model year clearance. 🙁

    1. Seems like the Germans are always ahead in terms of technological innovation. Mercedes dealerships were one of the first companies to embrace the iPad in enterprise. It’s no wonder Steve Jobs takes some of Apple’s design cues from the Germans.

    2. Fugly!!! It will rank right down their with Toyota’s reincarnation of the Land Cruiser.

      Growing up, my parents had VW buses long before the hippies made them cool. Actually, after the hippies started driving them, their next large family hauling car was a Chevy Suburban – way, way, way before the SUV trend.

  3. The most important sentence of the whole article:

    “Toyota decided against pinning its tablet strategy on Web services, because its Web site uses a lot of Flash, which isn’t supported on the iPad Safari browser.”

  4. OK, these are the most important sentences of the whole article:

    “By developing for Apple first, Nelson says, you get the best of both worlds. Why? “iPhone is really the standard bearer for smartphones,” Nelson says. “We design specifically for the iPhone. Android is the same functionality and somewhat of the same user interface.”

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