Apple’s iOS in the Car initiative bedeviled by organizational strife, sources say

“Apple executives ‘didn’t quite know what to do’ with the iOS in the Car program, according to The Information‘s Jessica E. Lessin,” Shane Cole reports for AppleInsider.

“The disconnect is attributed primarily to overarching organizational issues that are said to place pressure on non-hardware products that do not fit within existing teams,” Cole reports. “Even in the lead-up to iOS in the Car’s high-profile unveiling at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last June, executives were reportedly still unsure about the product’s future.”

Cole reports, “Alliances with major manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari have failed to bear fruit thus far, and announcements from other automakers have been few and far between. The news comes as rival Google is positioning its Android operating system as an alternative for in-car ‘infotainment’ systems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What exactly don’t Cook et al. know what to do about iOS in the Car?

For Jobs’ sake, Apple has more cash on hand than Intel is worth. The company could make virtually anything happen – with proper management.

So, get a competent manager for iOS in the Car, assemble a team to assist any and all vehicle makers’ technology teams. Live at the vehicle makers if need be. In fact, pay the vehicle makers if need be. How about not losing a market due to inaction/lack of focus/self-delusional moves* for a fscking change? What is this, 1995?

• Apple Maps. Oops, we’ll fix it after the fact. Mismanaged.

• John Browett. Oops, bad fit (painfully obvious to everyone not named Tim Cook). Mismanaged.

• iMac (Late 2012). Oops, missed Christmas 2012 (helping to plunge the stock price into the abyss) and, by not saving for March when it would actually be ready to ship, had nothing new to show for nearly a year. Mismanaged.

• Losing control of the PR narrative which, oops, contributed to a Korean knock-off outfit being equated with, or even elevated above, the innovator’s products while also helping the bears and shorts to nearly halve the company’s stock price within 9 months (Sept. 2012 – June 2013). Mismanaged.

• iTunes Radio. Oops, not fully baked and now languishing. Mismanaged.

• iPhone 5c. Oops, obviously priced wrong and featured incorrectly. Mismanaged.

• No iPhone with a screen larger than 4-inches – it’s now 2014 – despite a plethora of high-value customers who obviously want to buy one, but have turned to other platforms in order to get a smartphone with a larger screen. Oops. Mismanaged.

• iOS in the Car. Mismanaged?

Losing the vehicle integration battle, Apple, will go a long way towards losing the war.

*one-handed interaction is a concocted load of bullshit attempting to cover for not having a proper lineup of iPhones offering customers varied display sizes at even this late date.

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

Related articles:
Apple battles Google to forge vehicle ties – December 30, 2013
Apple patent application reveals in-vehicle holistic ID for ‘iOS in the Car’ – December 12, 2013
ABI Research: Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ to be No. 1 in-vehicle system by 2018 – November 1, 2013
General Motors adds Apple’s Siri Eyes Free to more vehicles following ‘remarkable’ customer response – October 16, 2013
Hidden contacts revealed within Apple’s iOS in the Car – August 8, 2013
Automakers integrate Apple’s iOS in the Car to minimize driver distraction, increase customer satisfaction – July 30, 2013
Why Apple is planning aggressive 2014 launch for ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 26, 2013
Why Tim Cook described Apple’s iOS in the Car strategy as ‘very important’ – July 25, 2013
Apple has its eyes on automakers with ‘iOS in the Car’ – July 5, 2013
Ford plummets to 27th in J.D. Power vehicle quality rankings on Microsoft-developed ‘MyFord Touch’ woes – June 20, 2012

68 Comments

      1. All of it? Only zealots buy the myth of “perfect Apple”. And the point stands: it is impossible to draw any conclusions from some asshole in the shadows who claims to be a “source” when there is no evidence to support the claim.

        1. It doesn’t get any sounder that Lessin’s sources. Attempting to impune her reporting because you don’t like what it says about Apple is weak. I’ll tell you: I know for a fact that she’s right.

          1. Are you talking about the same Jessica Lessin who took a quote from Paul Graham out of context and created a controversy?

            The Information and its sources are not that sound. Despite having a paywall, they still need to create controversy to get attention.

          1. Yeah, replace him with this MDN numbnuts who apparently knows how to run Apple better than anyone else. I place him right in with the idiot analysts they’re always quoting.

        2. Totally agree. Cook’s doing a great job. Of course he’s going to make mistakes. Some of the points have partial validity but not in the snarky hateful way that MDN presents it.

          1. Lets take the points 1 by 1:
            1. Apple Maps. Far more complex situation then just blaming mismanagement. Obviously wasn’t fully tested, but Apple needed to dump Google maps. Perhaps Scott wasn’t as into it since he didn’t make CEO and Tim trusted his execution too much.
            2. John Browett. Totally agree
            3. iMac (Late 2012). No one has any idea what went on here. Something that was supposed to be in place wasn’t. Could have happened under Jobs.
            4. Losing control of the PR narrative: This one is totally bogus. Apple and Tim Cook are not a political party!
            5. iTunes Radio. Haven’t used it so I can’t comment
            6. iPhone 5c. True, price difference with 5s not large enough but still a great product. Probably sold alot of 5s’s for Apple which they probably didn’t make enough of.
            7. No iPhone with a screen larger than 4-inches. Puleeze, so sick of this. Its only people with purses that want these. Wouldn’t be supprized if Apple increases the screen size of the 5c to keep it in price parity with the 5s.
            8. IOS in the car: You don’t know how much truth there is in the article. Perhaps Apple should just buy Tesla and be done with it.

            1. Regarding pt 4. Would MDN suggest that in order to control the “narrative” Apple pay off the “Analysts”, Tech writers, and bloggers like Samsung and maybe Google does?

            2. PR maven, Yes there are many ways.
              Shoot people,
              Buy favor,
              Provide misleading ads
              Tell management lies cause no one will know ?????
              Invent anti-gravity, cause that is just so easy.
              MDN is having a hysterics kind of day. OK, but take a chill pill once in a while. Or invent teleportation and prove me wrong. Its easy, right.?????

            3. I’m sorry, didn’t mean to “belittle” people with purses. I carry a man-bag myself, but the point is stated in article below:

              The big fallacy about big phones
              Big phones are nowhere nearly as popular as people – especially tech geeks – think they are, at least not in North America.

              Back in January of 2013, 9 out of 10 customers on AT&T chose the 3.5 or 4-inch iPhone over all other smartphones, including all bigger smartphones, combined. 6 out of 10 customers on Verizon did likewise. In the last quarter, reported in July of 2013, more than 5 out of 10 customers on both AT&T and Verizon still chose the 3.5 or 4-inch iPhone over all other smartphones, despite the iPhone 5 being halfway through its product cycle, and the presence of newer, bigger rivals like the enormous Samsung Galaxy S4 and the gorgeous HTC One, as well as various other, larger Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phones.

              Link to full article here: http://www.imore.com/wheres-bigger-iphone

            4. #6 – Caused many people to buy the more profitable 5s. I should make such mistakes.

              #2 – Agree. Took Tim WAY too long to fix such a major and obvious problem.

      1. We don’t really know how sound her sources are but irregardless, the points that MDN makes in this article are hard to argue with. Automotives, the living room, wearables, and large-screen smartphones are major areas that Apple cannot ignore.

        1. WTFever……. Just like they couldn’t ignore the BOGO cel phones or netbooks. Just because nobody, especially Wallstreet, understands Apple or know what Apple is actually doing doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t have a plan.

          BWah ha ha ha ha, wearables. like GoogleGlass? part of me wonders if there isn’t a mile long mean streak of comedy behind Tim Cook’s southern gentleman facade. I can imagine him saying let’s screw with everyone and claim to be working on a wearable compu-watch.

          Hilarity ensues as bozoids like samedung and others fall all over themselves trying to outdo Apple, or be first to market, scared poopless over a hint of a rumor about Apple.

        2. No one said Apple is ignoring those areas. Apple does need to jump on iOS in the Car before Google tries to swoop in. Fortunately Microsoft already killed itself off with it’s Sync in Fords being so bad.

          I’m not sure if it’s mismanaged; more likely it’s much more complex than Apple anticipated. Infotainment systems are highly integrated into a vehicle’s electronics system. These wiring harnesses are basically one huge nervous system and are not designed to be parted out.

          The other issue is that there can absolutely not be any crashes or glitches. Wouldn’t do to have iTunes, Pandora or Skype crashing your car’s fuel injection management or electronic steering control while driving down the interstate now, would it?

          The true issue is probably more that Apple had a grand vision for iOS being able to access and control virtually everything in the car, including accessing/mirroring your iPhone, but that task was much more involved than Apple realized. Now it’s back to determining if those ambitious plans are warranted or if it should scale back to more just infotainment rather than total vehicular management.

  1. As I want in an in car entertainment system is Bluetooth connectivity. I don’t care about maps integration with Apple Maps because I don’t think car manufacturers will give this up unless they can integrate maps into their dashboard without the need for an iPhone, like Tesla is doing with Google Maps.

    If I need to use Apple Maps I’ll mount the iPhone on the dash. If the iPhone screen is too small to see maps in detail, I’ll mount an iPad mini or full size iPad. Problem solved.

    1. You’re right – the auto industry loves to charge a few grand for electronics that are outdated before the car even hits the showroom and there’s enough emotional buyers out there to make it work.

      However right now the Achilles Heel of the whole cell phone in the car is that you’ll blow right through your cell plan just by listening to iRadio, Pandora, etc. which clearly the ISPs love.

      So what do we do when we’ve got money grubbers all over the place. If Apple would simply store as many of the last played iRadio tunes as possible on your iDevice for off-line play that would a great first step. I’m sure Apple can come up with other cell saving approaches.

  2. “For jobs sake”? What kind of crap is that? When we get criticized over being Apple product users, one of the things that we get criticized about is deifying Steve Jobs. To see it here, is more than annoying. Even if some are going to claim that it was done as a joke, it’s not good enough. We need to stop acting as the stereotypes we’re being seen as.

    1. That’s all you come up with after reading MacDailyNews’ Take?

      Who said they were deifying Jobs, anyway? Perhaps they where Peteifying Jobs? (For Pete’s sake!)

    2. Try not to be so sensitive, Mel. You’ve seen it all before; there’s going to be overreaction by both defendants and assailants, but this isn’t a court of public opinion, with some judge reading a final verdict on the conduct of said company.

      After all these years, can’t you accept that a loyal group of long-time followers coheres as a group of believers, even adopting the jargon of zealots in a sardonic sense? Besides, what would be the point in adopting a modest comportment? To forestall decapitation by marauding Roman centurions unimpressed with our devotion? They’re not getting any more lenient.

    1. Just because Cook’s Apple is compiling a list of mismanaged failures, don’t blame MacDailyNews for laying out the facts.

      When Cook is gone, you’ll be praising MDN for their honesty.

      1. And when did MDN list Jobs’ mismanagements? You know, like the Cube (spare me that a core group loved it; it was a sales flop), lack of Mac Pro updates for decades, Ping, MobileMe, iTools, years between iWork updates and then lost opportunities to take on Office, mismanaged Pro Apps (buy or introduce, gain loyal following, then abandon), iDVD and iWeb abandonment, syncing issues for years and years, etc. etc.

    2. Totally agree, rogifan. I don’t come here for MDN’s lame “takes” on Apple. I come for the often funny, sometimes interesting, and occasionally insightful comments of interesting posters. And to quickly find — usually reader contributed — links to interesting news articles. To cheer or commiserate. If I wanted to hear people run Apple down, I do not have to come here.

      Anyone familiar with Apple history — and I mean more than the past few years — knows they have made many mistakes, and will most likely make more. It is a consequence of making decisions. But someone once said the trick in business (and in life) is to get more things right than wrong (and certainly to get the most important things right) and I think Apple has done this. They are still the best Apple we’ve got. If I want to hear stupid commentary about what Apple should have done, I don’t have to come here — I can get that from almost any “talking head” like Cramer, Trump, or Icahn, or any mainstream media “analyst”. MDN: you are losing people like me with your increasingly negative takes on Apple. I am not sure you care. But I certainly do.

      In my view, the biggest headwinds faced by Apple are not of its own doing. They are a result of being jammed by Android, Samsung, uninformed consumers, Amazon, the DOJ, and the so-called “justice” system. Even in the best of conditions, it is difficult enough to develop and run a world-class organization, while planning for continued business growth. Yet Apple has had to do this in the face of huge and unfair competition on many fronts. Despite this, I believe Apple shall prevail. Steve once said Apple was his best creation. And I believe he is right on this.

  3. The whole idea of ‘iOS In The Car’ is fraught with problems right from the beginning, not just because of any issues within Apple, but because of the labyrinthine issues with the car makers. Where do you start? There are many cross-overs between American, Japanese and European makers, along with the rivalries between the manufacturers seeking to find ways to differentiate their cars from others in the same market.
    iOS as a car interface is a nice idea, but how do you also integrate all the aftermarket entertainment systems as well as the OEM ones? Pioneer would take it on, possibly Kenwood, but Alpine? Their OS is shocking.
    What Apple are attempting is very difficult and I can see why there are issues.
    Really, all Apple should be looking for is Airplay integration to start with, and build on that, leave maps etc to the Apple devices.

  4. What happen to MDN? I thought they were all about Apple and on their bandwagon.

    I thought Apple could do no wrong?

    Maybe they bought too many shares before earnings came out?

      1. I agree that it’s hard to argue with MDN’s take. But I think Tim Cook is the guy for Apple at this time. Indeed, MDN often say that he shouldn’t be underestimated. I just hope that he’s learned from the mistakes listed. I suspect that he’s already learned from the first three.

  5. This is like Motorola E790 Apple iTune Phone. As the phone manufacture (Motorola) did not get it, the car manufacturers are not getting it. Apple needs find a car manufacturer (GM, Hyundai or Saab?) who is desperate enough to give Apple free rein (like AT&T did for cell phone) in exchange for a five year exclusive use. Hopefully one car manufacturer will be smart enough to take the deal.

  6. Drumbeat to fire Tim Cook? Seriously MDN?
    It’s a huge complicated organization and if you think there’s a human who can run it better… wow.

    Imagine if you put Steve Jobs under that microscope. His mismanaged failures were legion. And one of his great legacies is that Apple is a brutal place to work, and you know retaining top talent is what translates ideas into good execution. Not just some magical manager.

    It think after over a decade, you’re off my must read list.

  7. Absolutely perfect MDN. Every single issue. Perfect. And it’s a shame. Because they still make the best hardware and software. They just have a hard time following through on everything else. I have never bashed Tim Cook and won’t now. I’m certain that he is trying to do his very best. But I think it’s clear that someone needs to yank a knot in managements tail. Apple is a huge corporation and very difficult to manage. But they have too much potential and too much money to let projects languish and fail the way they have the last several years. Maybe Tim is just not the guy? Too many problems for too long now. Something needs to change. Maybe Tim is best suited as a supply chain guy. But somebody needs to get their shit together in Cupertino. Besides better leadership Apple needs a face. Someone to promote the product who has drive and credibility. Someone the public can associate with the great products that Apple makes. Someone made a comment on this site several days ago regarding Elon Musk. It can’t happen of course but boy if it only could. Move Tim to the board only and install Elon Musk as the CEO. He’s not Steve Jobs but he would run a close second. What a great mind. What a great leader. What a great representative for Apple. That would be the ultimate move for Apple. Were it only possible. The company would hit on all cylinders. The stock could easily blow past its previous high. You want an answer for all of the problems/issues that dogs Apple and AAPL? Elon Musk!

    1. That could work. Listen, Steve Jobs died prematurely, but he knew it was coming, and he observed Apple thrive under acting CEO Tim Cook during his medical leaves of absence. No doubt he mulled over the rest of the executive slate as potential successors, but being the guy he was (caring more about his creations, particularly Apple Inc., than his people) and not playing favourites he picked Tim Cook to get Apple through the crucial next few years, given that they both knew and agreed on the roadmap, the pipeline, and the next goal.

      Showmanship has changed since Jobs died, and execution has been sketchy at times, but it’s clear that Cook is better than a mere custodian, keeping the ship on course and studiously avoiding icebergs, waiting for the next Edison to show up. Exhibit A: maintaining profits instead of panicking at loss of market share. Exhibit B: ignoring the clamour from pundits and investors, both of them clown shows completely ignorant of company goals and therefore irrelevant to Apple’s strategic planning.

      I embrace your creative thinking and I also think that Tim Cook and the Apple BOD would do so, seeing the adrenaline that could jolt multiple industries, and propel Apple to new heights, if someone like Elon Musk came aboard.

  8. Seriously blaming Cook for this? Let’s see:

    2-3 month delays for delivering the white G5 iMac – Steve Jobs mismanaged
    2-3 month delays for delivering the Aluminium & Glass iMac – Steve Jobs mismanaged
    2-3 month delays on every major iPhone release – Steve Jobs & Tim Cook mismanaged
    Overpriced and underpowered first MacBook Air release – Steve Jobs mismanaged
    MobileMe – Steve Jobs mismanaged
    iCloud – Steve Jobs mismanaged
    No/slow upgrade of MacPro – started with being mismanaged by Steve and fixed by Tim Cook
    Domination of Japanese and increasing domination of US smartphone market – Tim Cook fixed

    Apple has a very, very long history of underestimating launch numbers – take it from someone who is an early adopter and long-waiter for delivery over many years. Yes, Tim should fix it but he didn’t start it.

    Since when do we believe what some no-name “source” has to say about this stuff? For those of you who don’t know, car development is measured over many, many years. Nothing changes quickly or without a great deal of preparation, cars manufacturers are definitely not early adopters and any decision to adopt iOS in the Car would predate actual appearance by at least 2-3 years.
    Manufacturers test prototype after prototype for things like aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, engine reliability and even minor tweaks in suspension setting are subject to endless tests and committees, so making a wholesale change to the in-car OS is not something that is taken lightly or will happen quickly, especially since Apple is clearly targeting the premium end of the market.
    I don’t think anyone is seriously worried about Android in the Car. Which version of Android? Will it be updated within the lifetime of a typical car loan or lease? What apps will be compatible with it and what happens when they are updated? Do you think the likes of Audi, etc who have been mooted are going to subject their customers to a slipshod operating system, just because of a press release? Not bloody likely!

    1. Add to the list above by ninetimes
      Antenna gate.. Steve jobs mismanaged!
      Small tablets .. Dead on arrival. Steve jobs mistake.
      Appstore.. “Wrong idea ” Steve jobs”

      One can go on and on with the list. And blames.
      No one is perfect. And most certainly jobs was not either.

      Lets see what happens in 2014… I am holding judgment on tim till the end of 2014… And think he has done ok till now in this transitionary times!.

      Now to the person who said that he knows for a Fact that the above source and report is accurate!
      Can u prove how u know that for a FACT?

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