Forget the rumor: Apple will never build cars

“The prospect of the wondrous Apple taking on General Motors, Ford and other doddering relics of the 20th century is an irresistible storyline,” Rick Newman writes for Yahoo Finance. “It’s also insane, and if Apple ever confirms it’s getting into the auto manufacturing business, shareholders should sell immediately.”

“There’s no doubt Apple (like Google, Sony and others) is deeply interested in the market for automotive software, especially the information and entertainment consoles that are a prime component of every car,” Newman writes. “That in itself is a great growth business to be in.”

“Car buyers can already enjoy Apple’s CarPlay feature on certain models from BMW, Chevrolet, Ford and others. But CarPlay, which only works when you plug an iPhone into the vehicle, is a sort of first-generation workaround compared with the integrated software likely to be commonplace in a few years,” Newman writes. “Imagine an iPhone embedded in the car, operating everything from your lights and garage door opener at home to your trip planning on the road to the car piloting itself under certain conditions… Manufacturing cars — like, on an actual assembly line — is an entirely different business, and an almost indisputably worse one than the business Apple is already in.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
The real battle Apple is waging in autos – February 17, 2015
O’Leary: Yes, give me the Apple car – February 17, 2015
Will Apple become a car maker or a platform/content aggregator? – February 17, 2015
An Apple Car is exactly what investors want – February 17, 2015
Apple’s electric car dreams may bring auto industry nightmares – February 17, 2015
Jean-Louis Gassée: The fantastic Apple Car is a fantasy – February 16, 2015
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

21 Comments

  1. There is no way that a computer / phone company is going to get into the automobile manufacturing business and make any headway. We’ve been in this business over a century and they are not going to waltz in here and figure it out in a few months.

        1. I stand corrected! I should have remembered that it was Palm: no company with a viewpoint that stuck in the past could have survived as long after the paradigm shift that was the iPhone as Blackberry has (if you could call what Blackberry has done “surviving”). I apologize to Blackberry’s CEO at the time for the insult.

          1. Well, in all fairness, Blackberry (at the time it was called RIM) co-CEOs (there were two sharing the role) Lazaridis and Balsillie were equally clueless:

            “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.” (Balsillie)

            “The most exciting mobile trend is …

            Full Qwerty keyboards. I’m sorry, it really is. I’m not making this up. People are running out of their two-year contracts and they’re coming into the stores and they want to be able to do Facebook and they want to be able to do instant messaging and they want to be able to do e-mail and they ask for those features thinking that they’re going to get another flip phone and they’re walking out with a (BlackBerry) Curve or a Pearl because they’re the best devices for doing those kinds of activities. And so what is the defining factor? The keyboard.” (Lazaridis)

            But I admit I love Ed Colligan’s quote the most (the one you paraphrased above):

            “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

            While I’m very skeptical about Apple entering auto industry, I can see them precisely as much of an outsider as they were in the smartphone business eight years ago. We know how that went down, and at this point, Apple has ten times the resources it had when it went against Palm, RIM and MS. It is unlikely to happen, but it certainly isn’t impossible.

    1. I don’t think Apple will get into the auto manufacturing business. However, I do believe they are building their own automobile from the ground up to integrate the ‘ultimate mobile device’ with all the other gadgets in our lives. Once done and proven they will license the technologies to auto makers. They will essentially position the company to be the Intel of the auto industry. It’s the ‘Be the thing that gets you to the thing approach’. Popularity of hardware brands and models change all the time. The constant that delivers the ‘new big thing’ has stayed the same for years…Intel. Apple (or Google) could do the same to automotive transportation with battery technology, maps, communications, home integration, etc. I think Apple is making the move.

  2. I have CarPlay and I agree it’s a stop gap measure until the phone is actually built into it and won’t require plugging one in. But I think this Rick Newman is a disingenuous idiot if he goes against the Apple grain of success in anything they want to do. Ask Dvorak, Thurrott, Enderle and other tech-prediction-challenged buffoons who’ve embarrassingly underestimated Apple in the past.

    1. I doubt you’re ever going to have an iPhone built into a car. iPhones change too quickly for cars, both in thickness, size, function, capacity, memory, processing power, etc.

      Think about it like this: The original iPhone was introduced in 2007 and has not been able to run the last 3 versions of iOS. You really want your car’s infotainment system becoming obsolete after 4-5 years?

  3. My next car has to be fully supportive of CarPlay.

    No CarPlay, no buy.

    But it would be kinda cool if Apple did make a car. It would probably be outside of my price range. And it would probably never happen. But it would be cool.

  4. why would apple even want to get into manufacturing?
    apple is not a manufacturer. it is a design and engineering and marketing/sales company. apple makes 100% of its money by doing these 3 things.

    not well known but true: even as late as 1979/1980 nike owned rubber plantations in malaysia. nike owned significant shares in taiwanese and korean manufacturers. it decided however that it wanted to be able to sell what it what wanted to sell, not what it could make.
    thats the fundamental decision that allowed nike to transform itself into a design and marketing company.

    why on earth would apple ever consider to become a manufacturer? if it does ever decide to own factories, its a sure sign that you should begin to decrease your holdings in apple stock.

    1. Why would Apple have to become a manufacturer??? They don’t manufacture iPhones, and have stopped manufacturing Macs very long time ago.

      Chinese factories are churning out some great cars. Very few Americans know about this, but elsewhere in the world, they are becoming quite popular (cheap, good, reliable, luxurious; after all, they had plenty to copy from BMW, Lexus, Infinity…).

      Nothing prevents Apple from designing complete cars in Cupertino and having them built and shipped from Guangzhou or Shenzhen…

  5. If you really want to know whether Apple’s going into the car business or not, watch and see whether Eddy Cue resigns from Ferrari’s board of directors.

    -jcr

  6. Just – why the heck would they bother? Chunky, clunky macro-mechanical devices. They might as well get into making mining machinery or excavators or fridges or stoves or toasters or cranes. Just because a thing can run more effectively with refined electronics doesn’t mean Apple should manufacture the thing, itself.

  7. … We know. We know. Another exploded Apple rumor that can’t stop mushrooming beyond sense or sanity. But it’s pointless to shout back because… Truth is in the mind of the beholder, delusional as that ‘truth’ may be.

    I fully expect Apple is working on car related hardware as well as software, as I’ve commented around here at some other Car article. They probably want car experts in order to properly integrate that hardware into future cars. I expect it’s going to be related to self-driving cars as well as road environment recognition. But we’re not going to know in any form of immediate future. Therefore, rumors of various validity will continue to proliferate until we’re all bored silly. 😛

  8. Yet another click-baiting nonsense article. They’re not going to compete with the mainstream; they’re going to build a compelling electric car – a niche category currently (oops!) that only needs the Apple treatment to make it mainstream. Sound familiar. Go Apple!

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