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. MDN Take missed a couple:

    -iOS 7. Ugly as ass smells, only popular by forced issue (Apple quickly withdrew signing iOS 6 installs to keep the adoption numbers high). Mismanaged.
    -iMovie Pro Vista Edition (a.k.a. Final Cut). Lost the bulk of the Pro market and a lot of goodwill by arrogance and ineptitude.
    -Aperture. Lost a hunk of market due to neglect.
    -Logic. Lost market leadership due to neglect and arrogance.
    -Mac Pro. Lost the workstation market due to neglect, arrogance and ineptitude, replacing a workstation with a HTPC design barely better than an iMac.

    Apple under Steve Jobs looked good because it was good. Apple under Tim Cook looks good because of competitor ineptitude and momentum.

    Google and Microsoft have plenty of very smart people and Apple will eventually have to get it’s ass moving again. Microsoft will shortly get Windows fixed well enough to please IT and Chromebooks are getting traction as lightweight thin clients.

    http://flip.it/Vg0Qc

    1. Most of the stuff u mentioned happened at steves time.

      Apple just made more money in quarter than they ever have or any other tech company ever has and more than most competition makes in a year!

      2014 looks like it will be a big year for apple…
      Whats all this bitterness?

    2. What’s Apples forte? What is Apples Killer App???

      I needed an on-ramp…. Darwin must be a power user, pro, because I totally agree with every point about Apple losing, giving away the PRO markets… Damn I need those pro apps to LIVE and WORK.. I can show you a post I sent to a very respected Larry Jordan, who teaches FCPX, and asked if a very simple broadcast task could be done within FCP X, and he replied with a YES, but that involved all kinds of work arounds and an $1100.00 plug in… plus a separate audio program.. Plus another program to close caption the video.. CRAP. FCP7 does it all now.

      And the Mac PRO Garbage Can? Sure it works fine, except for one thing. YOU CANT GET ONE.. It’s been over 3 years since they friggin upgraded a pro end MAC!!!!!, Ships in MARCH???
      The friggin technology inside is a year old now… They announced the thing in JULY.. Everyone has been fawning over this thing and but I think due to the lateness, it’s dead…it certainly did not help this quarter.

      Any way you slice it the guts are old now. I read 6 months ago who the guts should be newer generation tech..
      So imagine buying one for Back to School in Sept.. the tech will be 18 months old.. unless they refresh it before it initially ships..

      I love hearing about a bigger iphone screen. Everybody on this board will have a screen bigger than 4″ once available. The argument that Apple knew what they were doing by NOT offering a choice was idiotic. Samsung at their lunch..

      You can tell also that MDN has skin in the game.. I always say, I could care less about opinions, I see markets being squandered away, and it sucks if you depend on Apple products to make a living. I only care that Apple Programmers and managers, see this feedback. I bet they dont.. I bet they are just cashing their checks..honestly, it doesn’t feel like the company cares about anything anymore.
      Once again. What’s Apples forte? What is Apples Killer App???

      Time for Twinkle Toes Tim to GO..

    1. Microsoft has already had a car OS for some years, it was called Ford Sync. Users most certainly did notice and have stopped buying Fords.

      Microsoft also developed iDrive for BMWs, which has also had it’s share of problems and controversy.

  2. I like Tim Cook and I still think he’s better than the Ballmers and Elops but MDN’s take is right.

    I’ve harped a lot on the PR issue before, Apple PR sucks. It let NYT for example do a whole lot of B.S to get a Putlitzer without even bothering to write a simple letter to the Editor to correct obvious errors. Multiply this by all the other B.S it let fester. (P.R is cheap and doesn’t take time from the product guys like Ive, just hire a couple of PR guys). Apple stocks P.E is very low showing that there is PERCEPTION problem with apple, investors don’t think it’s winning. If aapl had Goog’s P.E the stock would be way over 700 (and Cook and Co. wouldn’t have to waste precious time dealing with the Icahns).

    The other big problem I see is Apple marketing: it sucks. Yeah, yeah they sell a lot of stuff but they could do BETTER. Recent ads have improved but they still don’t show ads demonstrating why Apple products are better than their competitors (they just show lifestyle ads showing people using them. They ran the ‘Plenty of People shoot photos on iPhone’ ads for months. Everyone one of my android using acquaintances say “So what? an iPhone can take photos? My $50 android can do so too” I was an advertising pro and I can’t figure the purpose of those ads… )

    Apple spends countless months, millions researching tech to like advance glass bonding, etc to make Macs yet they don’t advertise the features !!. Not one Mac ad for years since the Mac PC guys!. And although the PC market is not growing apple still only has 5% worldwide market share and Msft is still making billions. Does Google stop investing and selling its search engine (to advertisers) because it’s into Google Glasses and self driving cars? No, because Goog search is cash cow so are macs. But Apple seems to be bored with it..

    With Windows 8 disaster Apple instead of grabbing market share like crazy is allowing Msft breathing room (Mac share worldwide stuck around 5% for years ). If you are in the Octagon, the bell has rung and your opponent is distracted ogling the Babes at ringside… FINISH him off, don’t let him get his bearings again… !

    I’m talking B.S that Apple marketing is bad? Like I said before when I went to my local walmart to buy a Thunderbolt cable for my new Macbook Pro they didn’t carry them. Salesguy next to the pile of thunderbolt equipped macs on display had no clue what Thunderbolt was, they didn’t even have old mini display cables. And Walmart is one of the largest if not largest apple resellers in the world and Thunderbolt is big new Apple initiative. So if you bought a mac from them you would have a hard time connecting an external monitor!!. Relating to resellers (pounding into them that thunderbolt is a big thing for example) is an Apple Marketing Division issue so doesn’t apple marking suck? Apple Marketing should be helping resellers sell !

    Apple doesn’t advertise OSX is better than Windows (everybody including the sales guys at big box retailers and the general press think OSX is the SAME as Win 8), the don’t advertise iOS7 , heck they don’t even advertise the super speed 64 bit iPhone 5S has vs Samsung trash or even the Fingerprint sensor advantage (are they waiting for Samsung to put out a fingerprint sensor phone before apple advertisers it’s own? WTF?)

    the two quarters that precipitated aapl fall from 700 was due to missing analysts targets by relatively small amounts ( 50 and 200 million I believe) so if t marketing did their job and sold a bit more maybe the stock would still be at 700 or higher? and the excuse that Apple can’t make enough to sell even if they marketed is idiotic , go FIX production then and IMacs and mac minis etc aren’t supply constrained .

    Cook’s helplessness with marketing can be seen with his hiring of Browett (Cook doesn’t seem to know what good marketing or PR is) . But he’s a smart guy and hopefully he’s learnt and hopefully hiring Ahrendts turns out better.

    1. No one really knows what Apple’s market share is as they are the only company to report actual sales. Everything else is an estimate of shipments by 3rd parties, not actual sales.
      Both IDC and Gartner got it wrong by a huge factor, with Apple reporting YOY growth of almost 20% for Macs. Given that Apple’s reported worldwide sales are only 10% below the guess for ASUS – the company that is supposedly producing top gun ultrabooks if you believe the hype – I would estimate that Apple are selling way more than ASUS is REALLY selling (not shipping), putting their market share probably around 7% or more, given that all the other guesses are probably way off and even those are of massive drops for Windows PC makers, along with a huge underestimate of what Apple’s growth was. No one was putting forward a 20% growth for Apple.

      1. I don’t disagree with you’re saying.

        my point is as i’ve stated ( quote: “Yeah, yeah they sell a lot of stuff but they could do BETTER”) is that can sell even more. What is wrong with aiming for even higher market share and profits? You already MAKE the macs , I’m not saying start making no profit netbooks, but when you’ve got them you don’t market them.. ? I can’t see any reason not to advertise macs or do a better job marketing their other stuff.

        For example from benchmarks running certain programs the 5S is twice or more faster than Samsung’s Galaxy yet they don’t pound it into consumers heads. If you had a car to sell that was twice as fast and can go twice as far on the same amount of gas would you scream off the rooftops? I would.

        instead you get COUNTLESS press articles (just look at the mess in the last day or so) saying apple has lost its innovation, out innovated by Google Samsung etc. That it stock DESERVES to fall 8%….

        and that poor ass job with their reseller partners. Jobs cancelled some big contracts with resellers because they were not doing it right and he never let resellers undercut each other with SALES. Apple almost never had sales under Steve, it damages the whole chain.

        Remember Jobs was a product guy but ALSO a MARKETING genius. He hawking stuff from trade fair to investor conferences since he was his twenties.

        If Apple was a restaurant Jobs was an all round guy, he was the chef as well as front end person. Cook is very comfortable in the kitchen and even though Jobs let him out the last few years he seems to have trouble dealing with the front end. But he’s smart like I said (Jobs didn’t hire stupid) and i hope he learns fast.

        1. I get you Dave, but Apple shouldn’t and can’t play the specs game as it would completely undo their whole message. In marketing terms, it would be a poor “fit”. It isn’t about the specs or test results, it’s how it improves your life, it’s all the different things you can do with it, it’s how it feels when you look at the screen or use the Magic Trackpad, or hold an iPhone. All of that is exactly what Apple’s marketing campaigns focus on and believe it or not, it is actually working…
          I work in the corporate office of one of the world’s biggest retailers and we now do BYOD. I think I’ve seen 2 non-Apple laptops (and they were both superslim Sony Vaios) and 2 non-iPhones (both Galaxies) in an office housing thousands of people, including the IT geeks. That just wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.
          I think we’ll soon see that translating into market share as some companies simply drop out through long-term unprofitability and the lies about shipment numbers become unsustainable in the light of actual revenue and profit numbers, not to mention that Apple’s growth in the face of industry shrinkage takes hold from what was a very low base.

          I’m with you in wanting Apple to spruik itself and how much it craps on the competition in raw power, but it’s just not their way.

          I’m also with you that Cook is a smart guy and seems willing to surround himself with people who are experts in their field rather than trying to be the Renaissance Man that Jobs was.

          1. “It isn’t about the specs or test results, it’s how it improves your life,”

            OK, fine, then show how ‘fingerprint sensor, speed etc ” improves my life… show WHY I should pay for an iPhone rather than a cheap android..

            I’m not talking specs like gigs of ram necessarily: I’m saying: show how the speed helps you by making your apps run better etc.
            . Apple is not telling people any of the competitor features of their products at all. And They are not advertising macs at all.

            again: remember the iPhone ‘more people take photos with iPhone’ ads: what does that show? How does that show ‘iPhone improves my life?”
            Like I said an android guy just says my phone shoots photos… so. ??
            (the recent Christmas and verse ads ARE an improvement and I like them)

            Many PEOPLE SIMPLY ARE NOT AWARE OF THE MANY ADVANTAGES OF APPLE PRODUCTS BECAUSE APPLE DOES NOT ADVERTISE THEM.
            For example the main stream press like I said paints Windows 8 as the SAME as OSX because the writers don’t understand the differences as apple has not advertised it’s superiority. The sales guys at the big box retailers do not know either or don’t want to say as they sell a lot of Pcs (they are NOT going to say OSX is better, go buy a mac as they sell Dells so its up to Apple to inform people).

            (if what I’m saying i.e that they had to show features is not true then why did Jobs run the Mac Pc guy ads for YEARS?)

            if apple sales are good I suspect it’s dependent a lot on word of mouth. When a person buys an iPhone for the first time vs an android, their making a judgement either due to their own research reading Ars Technica or something or being convinced by their friends, Apple marketing as it is doesn’t (in my mind) convince them. (I have to explain to android to friends relatives why iOS is better and safer than malware prone Android because Apple doesn’t tell them. If I didn’t tell them and if they don’t read the tech press they would have no clue. Like I said apple doesn’t tell them – unless people bother to drill into apples website and look at the product launch videos etc ) Apple is selling due to great products not marketing . But Great Products link with Great Marketing = even more sales.

            Advertising is not all or nothing or single stranded. Image and lifestyle ads can be backed up by feature ads.

            great a lot of people in your company is using macs but that’s just your personal experience, I see a lot of windows PCs and stats (even if they are inaccurate to some extent) show win PCs still outselling macs. We KNOW msft is selling a lot of windows from billions $ reported every quarter in their financial results.

            Like I said I was an ad pro so I know a bit about marketing.

            You seem like an intelligent person and an apple fan, so peace.

            1. There’s a flaw in your OS X vs Windows logic:
              For most people Windows works fine. OS X is lagging seriously, in fact, by many estimates it’s going backwards. Mavericks added sweet ***nothing*** bar a few apps and has been an unmitigated disaster for scores of users.
              Micros**t updated their UI twice while we’re still stuck with grey boxes from 1998. We can mock M$ but what do Mac users have to look forward to? OS X looking more like the flat and ugly iOS 7. Yuk.
              While the hardware is awesome, Apple’s software sucks and is getting worse:-
              Finder: So far past its sell by date is absurd. Bugs and missing features remain after decades. It annoys and confuses noobs (UI is perversely unintuitive, eg: you can click to select one item, then drag another without the highlight changing…) AND also frustrates veterans by being uncustomizable and limiting.
              Mail: Bug ridden (still) with amateurish features and spam filtering that simply doesn’t work.
              iTunes. STILL clunky and outdated. Confusing UI that has not been substanially updated since Apple bought it in 2000.
              Contacts/Calendar: Rudimentary features and bad designed. No dev will touch this stuff with a killer ‘Outlook’ level app because Apple is so flaky, both with dreadfully unreliable cloud sync and the unfortunate propensity to add/remove/change its sync methods without warning.
              Aperture: The app is now so far behind Lightroom it’s crazy. And this in a field Apple should own. Such a shame.
              FCPX: No matter what Apple adds now, it’s too late. My FCP7 buddy laughs when I mention it. It’ll take years for the damage that the FCPX debacle inflicted to be be repaired.
              iLife: Years of neglect followed by a feature gutting of the apps has taken its toll. iMovie is appallingly clunky and unreliable and the one bright spot, Garageband just got ‘FCPXed’. Nice. Apps like iPhoto have been dumbed down to match their iOS namesakes but do not interact with the OS X versions in any way.
              iWork: Same thing, only Apple courts office professionals with this garbage and expects to be taken seriously. O_o
              Go ahead, read the reviews of these apps. It’s a travesty that a company so wealthy produces these dogs.

  3. Agree with MDN take. Apple used to be the Toyota of the computer business – they just work.

    Unfortunately this is no longer the case. When Steve Jobs was healthy he used and tested the products. Problems were largely removed before the product was introduced. Tim Cook relies on the product development teams to test the products. They are failing!

    Apple needs to hire product testers who thoroughly use the products to make sure the features work and work correctly.

    Examples:

    Mail and Preview in Mavericks

    Compressor (Crash, Crash, Crash)
    iMovie (same as Compressor)

    Reliability is essential for users and investors.

  4. I’m happy to say that I agree with MDN’s take, for once. I sometimes wonder what the hell they are thinking in Cupertino. Why the hell haven’t they just put a phone in the iPad mini? There is no excuse for them burying their heads in the sand on issue after issue. Unfortunately, the problem is a corporate culture issue that won’t be solved anytime soon. They are managing to wrestle failure out of the hands of success! Apple should have a net worth of >$1 trillion right now, but they are not interested in making money on anything that doesn’t suit their personal tastes and doesn’t validate their opinions. I know they want to make money, because I just paid $20 for a phone charger and $300 for a RAM upgrade. I understand they don’t want to realize something that “isn’t perfect.” But they never have released anything that was “perfect.” How would releasing. 6″ iPhone be any more of a disaster than releasing a plastic, candy-colored iPhone?

  5. An emotional screed that flies in the face of the company’s financial results. Get used to the market share drop unless aapl wants to compress its margins. If that happens, the stock will get smacked for that as well. Growth of 5-10% for a colossal company is quite healthy – not what it was 3 years ago when aapl had the market cornered.
    And, really, going after aapl based on a website looking for hits with an inflammatory aapl headline. It’s not to say that they aren’t struggling their way to a new product however, this is natural. Have you not read the stories about the iPhone introduction in Jan 2007? aapl personnel were standing around the stage with their fingers crossed hoping it would work. Grow up MDN.

  6. I see people on here saying that only people with purses want bigger phones or big phones aren’t that popular. I’ve got a news flash for you. Personally I’m happy with my 4″ screen iPhone 5s. However if I had a dime for every person I knew who switched to android because they wanted a bigger screen or are waiting for apple to release one with a bigger screen , I would be a billionaire. This is not a fad. It’s a common complaint. I’m not saying the current model size is not fine but offer variety in sizes people want starting at 4″. Maybe a 4, 4.5, and a 5.

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