Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’

“In the very last minute of its earnings call question and answer session with analysts, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook addressed “iOS in the Car,” the company’s strategy for automotive, calling it ‘very, very important’ and a ‘key focus for us,’ Daniel Eran Dilger writes for Apple Insider.

“Asked by Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt if iOS in the Car was a ‘licensing opportunity’ or what the ‘strategic relevance’ of it might be, Cook answered, ‘I see it as very important,'” Dilger writes. “Cook explained, ‘It is a part of the ecosystem. And so just like the App Store is a key part of the ecosystem, and iTunes and all of our content is key, and the services we provide from messaging to Siri and so forth, having something in the automobile is very very important. It’s something that people want. And I think that Apple can do this in a unique way, and better than anyone else. And so it’s a key focus for us.'”

Dilger writes, “That’s certainly a stronger endorsement than Cook’s recent descriptions of the state of Apple TV, which have morphed from a ‘hobby’ to being ‘a string we keep pulling to see where it takes us.'”

Much more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Such a funny article related to Microsoft Sync and Fords past issues. Here… http://www.autoblog.com/2011/03/30/fords-second-gen-sync-system-off-to-a-buggy-start/

    Not to forget “Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.”

    Is it Friday yet?

    1. As far as I am concerned, Ford totally missed the boat teaming up with MS and I think the proof has been in the pudding. integrating the ability to use something (like Bluetooth does) versus imbedding (which is what Ford did with Sync) are wildly different things. The former allows flexibility and easy upgrade and hopefully should not affect the basic operation of the car. The latter makes upgrading difficult, incorporation of new technology virtually impossible and apparently can affect basic operation of the car. Not cool!

      1. “The latter makes upgrading difficult, incorporation of new technology virtually impossible and apparently can affect basic operation of the car. Not cool!”

        I’ve experienced it with MS Ford Sync first hand…and totally agree…it is NOT cool and it is horribly frustrating.

    2. This from Motley Fool: “Apple has already taken steps in this area through ‘iOS in Car’ which is expected to be released in the fall. The application will provide enhanced integration between your phone and your vehicle. Through the program’s hand-free controls the driver can access maps, get directions, and control music while displaying content on the navigation screen of the car.

      Other tech players are entering the space as well. In June BlackBerry unveiled the QNX enabled Bentley Continental GT as well as a recently modified Jeep Wrangler Sahara. The system is designed to handle everything from monitoring an automobile’s diagnostics, playing movies and music to presenting emails and text messages through the dashboard. QNX is already installed in 30 million vehicles worldwide.

      So my question is, has Apple already won this battle? iOS will be rolled out by a number of manufacturers by 2014 including Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Infiniti, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Volvo, Opel, and Jaguar.

      If I were a manufacturer, who would I rather partner with? BlackBerry, which has a shaky future in mobile phones? Or Apple, who is a proven winner? “

    1. Much worst, from the asshole who delivers our private data to the current illegal fascist NAZI Obama regime occupying the White Hut.

      If I ever meet you in person Tim Crook, your family will not recognize you afterwards you SACK OF SHIT!

      1. McMan, you’re a moron. Apple has resisted as much or more than any other company, but the NSA has the guns and court orders. There’s really not much Apple, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. can do about it.

    2. There’s no cluelessness at all. Jobs knew exactly what he was doing with Apple TV, and Cook knows exactly what he’s doing, but they have their poker faces on. What’s funny is that nobody sees it. The next year or so will be very exciting for Apple TV, and nobody will have seen it coming. Just sit back and watch.

      1. Getting into auto entertainment systems is far more important right now to Apple than getting into the living room. Car entertainment is wide, wide open — no auto manufacturer has been able to put together a good system yet.

        This is one of the reasons why Apple needs and is releasing iTunes Radio. Now as Apple starts working with auto makers and adding hardware components to cars, it will be almost required for a car to have iPhone/iPod connections.

        TV can wait. People have workable solutions now, although it’s not ideal. TV also faces HUGE licensing problems with content providers, none of which are going to be resolved soon (content providers make too much money to rock the boat now). It’s a very different situation than the music industry, which was floundering and very much at risk of essentially collapsing with its then-current outdated model.

        1. I don’t disagree that there’s a huge opportunity in cars. I’m not sure it’s all about entertainment per se, but the auto cabin is definitely ripe for expansion.

          However, I’d argue that the TV model is also on the cusp of becoming outdated. It’s not quite where the music industry was when Apple stepped in, but I think it’s getting there quickly.

          I give it a couple of years before the big distributors no longer have the leverage they once had to force consumers into expensive cable and satellite subscriptions. A la carte or Netflix-style all-you-can-eat is coming. Think of it like Spotify for video. When the time is right, Apple will be there, and they’ll be the catalyst that drives the tipping point.

  2. Maps works fine in my country (it uses TomTom data, which has always been good here. YMMV). But Siri for its own inscrutable reasons claims it is unable to provide directions in South Africa. You can find me the population of Burkina Faso, but you can’t launch a built-in app with a destination preloaded. WTF?

    So, Mr Cook, is this going to be another toy for America and a handful of Most Favored Nations? Or are you ready to become a global company at last? Here’s a tip: automakers operate on thin margins. They really like economies of scale.

    1. Puhlease, Apple is a great company, but it’s still an American company. It’s way too overwhelming to think that they are actually part of the global village, rather it’s much easier to think of the global village as being a spot down the road they can spy upon and march troops into someday.

      1. Wow that makes me feel a happy 25 year customer of Apple then. Hopefully with that attitude you wont mind when a Chinese company comes knocking at your door telling you to ‘get out yankee pig’. alls fair after all…

        1. Thanks for your comment. I too am a happy long time customer and investor of Apple.

          I highly doubt that a Chinese company would come knocking at my door telling me to as you put it “get out you yankee pig.” The main reason I doubt it is that they probably would have a good knowledge of geographical and political boundaries. Another reason is that even if they did not have a good knowledge of geographical and political boundaries they would be open to an accept that I am not a as you put it “yankee pig”. I might have to supply an internationally acceptable documentation (like a passport) to further prove this but I do believe this would be enough, unlike those from a certain so called US ally on a putrid island in the Pacific.

          Thirdly I don’t worry about it because we’ve been having Chinese company over for quite a while and we overcome our differences together, work well together, accomplish great things together, just as good global citizens should do.

  3. The problem isn’t iOS in the car,MIT the car catching up to iOS. I never understood why car makers cannot just do firmware updates to support new devices. Oh wait, I do know. It’s the almighty dollar. Just buy a new car to get that 5 year old feature.

  4. Was just looking tonight at a GMH ad. for the new model Holden Commodore here in Oz. What TCook says about the importance of iOS in the car appears to be correct. The demo at WWDC of artifical intelligence driving model cars around a race track seems to have been applied to real cars. Could eliminate many serious and fatal accidents.

  5. Different leadership. Steve Jobs and Apple at that time would go to where the puck will be hit. This group may think Apple’s future is like “a string we keep pulling to see where it takes us.” The problem is Apple and the “string” end up where you “pull” it to. If you really don’t know where you are going, you and the string are just walking around.

    I really miss Steve’s vision and leadership.

    1. Malarkey. The problem is that there are several pucks heading out on random, ever-changing paths. TV is one: The content providers won’t simply license content to Apple, or at least not for a reasonable amount. ISPs don’t want people streaming or downloading movies all the time, unless of course you’re buying the movie from their cable company arm.

      Apple is moving rather quickly (in automotive terms) to having iOS integrated into most car models. That is incredibly huge, because once a technology is adopted by car makers and demanded by consumers, it is almost impossible to remove later. It means Apple could be selling millions of additional iOS devices, but not clogging up Apple’s production lines. It means millions of additional devices using Apple services like iTunes, iTunes Radio, iCloud, etc.

      It also means locking Android out of the auto market.

  6. iOS in the car is very important. It will help ease the road rage of having to use the abysmal shit the automakers currently foist on their customers. It’s painfully evident that all car software interfaces were designed by some greenhorn engineer sitting at a computer who never once attempted to use the shit UI from behind the wheel of a real automobile.

  7. My company car is a 2013 Ford Fusion SE. The car is pretty nice. However, Ford Sync is the biggest “tech” (and I use that term loosely) nightmare I’ve ever encountered. It’s by far the most kludgy, unintuitive piece of, well, automotive equipment invented – if it’s working, and that’s a big IF. There is no element to it that doesn’t have continual problems or it just stops working at all…it has it’s own BSOD.

    It’s been back to the dealership repeatedly for repairs, software updating and it still fails. Whenever “Sync” is mentioned the service writers just roll their eyes. One mechanic said that they see more warranty problems with Ford Sync than anything else they work on.

    If I could rip it out of the dash and replace it with an AM radio it would be a step forward.

    Ford and Microsoft have been trying Sync for several years now and the current version doesn’t even qualify for beta status IMO.

    I cannot wait for the day that Apple steps in and shows everyone how it’s done.

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