Jean-Louis Gassée: The fantastic Apple Car is a fantasy

“Johann Jungwirth, the Mercedes Benz R&D exec that Apple hired last September, worked on infotainment systems, which makes him a natural for Apple’s work on CarPlay,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “The mystery vans are most likely part of the company’s Maps product.”

“Apple has made a commitment to better in-car systems, not in and for themselves in isolation, but as a reinforcement of the iOS ecosystem. If the large number of engineers that they’ve ‘poached’ from Tesla seems a bit much, consider again the enormous size of iPhone (and iPad) revenue for this past quarter: $60B – compared to GM’s $40B for the same period,” Gassée writes. “To Apple, anything that helps the iOS ecosystem is well worth what looks like oversized investments to outsiders.”

“An Apple car feels good: design, quality, service, trust. A winner. I’ll buy two. It’ll work because it’d be really great if it did… but a small matter of implementation – actually the larger Moore’s Law intrudes,” Gassée writes. “The fantastic Apple Car is a fantasy.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Washington’s Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Related articles:
Apple is already positioned to be a car company in many ways – February 16, 2015
Why Tim Cook would want to build an Apple Car – February 14, 2015
Apple working on self-driving electric car, source says – February 14, 2015
Apple’s project ‘Titan’ gears up to challenge Tesla in electric cars – February 13, 2015
Apple’s next big thing: The Apple Car? – February 13, 2015
Apple hiring auto engineers and designers – February 13, 2015


    1. Apple DID once ‘jump the shark’ back in 1996 when they ended up with $1 Billion in unwanted warehoused Mac Performas. That’s what happens when you allow Marketing-As-Management. Apple learned. Steve Jobs brought the company back into entrepreneurial mode.

      As long as Apple stays entrepreneurial and doesn’t go the way of Sony, there will be no further jumping of sharks.
      🎣 🏄

    1. Agree; there is nothing to confirm that Apple does anything more than street mapping and in-car systems. WSJ and Reuters have made unprovable contradicting claims that are probably just made up. They are competing with who will make more publicity from this, and those lies are totally safe for them since there will be no official rebuttal.

        1. I expect Samsung announcing “Galaxy Car” soon. Samsung has already tried cars in 1990s, but failed and sold 80% of their business to Renault, with Samsung branding gone.

          But Samsung can actually buy WSJ/Reuters story and start anew. 🙂

          1. I *hope* Samsung does that actually. Their brand is starting to take a negative tone recently, with their self-inflicted Smart TV problems (privacy issues with voice recognition, and inserting ads into the *user’s* own movies during playback), so Samsung being led down a fake rabbit trail and wasting tons of money would be an awesome thing.

  1. I disagree with the concept that this is for only CarPlay as strictly an entertainment and mapping system .
    There is a lot of computers and software in modern vehicles and I have heard experts say a lot of it is buggy.
    What is at stake here is no less than the operating system for vehicles and how about Apple powering and selling the operating system for a lot of the vehicles sold each year.

    1. Except apple historically has leaned towards making the hardware on which their software runs !
      Thats one of their main claims to fame and slogans !

      What you are suggesting is more a Google or MS approach !

      1. I agree with you and am suggesting they may make the CPU + software i.e. the guts of an electric car
        I think that they also have some kind of deal on the Tesla battery plant
        There are also reports that they have been talking to Magna which is a major parts supplier.
        The conflict is a situation where they get in to conflict with other OEM’s kinda like Google did when they bought Motorola mobile.
        Whatever happens this is going to be interesting

      2. That’s true of products that Apple bran manufactures. But CarPlay is an Apple product intended to go into someone else’s product (cars).

        I expect that Apple is extending CarPlay from a dash controller OS, to include a self driving controller/sensor system as well. It would be just like Apple to buy the best sensor manufacturer (including patents) to go with its software.

  2. I agree with MattyG, and would take it further. Apple should hire some of Elon Musk’s other employees from SpaceX and leak hints that it’s working on space exploration. SpaceX could even be in on the gag. Then we’ll all sit back and smile knowingly as Samsung spends its future trying to make space vehicle clones.

  3. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the Apple Car. Remember before the iPhone came out, Apple dabbled in this area of adding iTunes first to the top selling Motorola RAZR phone in late 2005 while also developing an iPhone to come out about 18 months later

  4. Keep in mind that Apple is also in the chip design business.
    If I recall my computer history correctly, the Power PC partners sold far more Power PC chips to car manufactures than they did to Apple for their Mac’s.

  5. Apple will never do a cellphone. The iPad will fail miserably because nobody needs one. The apple car is a fantasy.

    We shall see. just because they are mapping stuff in minivans that fact has zero to do with whether or not we get an iCar. I believe.

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