The real battle Apple is waging in autos

“Amid speculation over whether Apple’s increased investment in automobiles could ultimately lead to an iCar, many are overlooking the big battle that’s already taking shape in the auto industry: Who will win drivers’ time behind the wheel?” Phil LeBeau reports for CNBC.

“Think of your car as the last major untapped frontier when it comes to mobility and connectivity.The two primary players fighting for your time, attention and purchasing power are Apple, which introduced its Carplay system last year, and Google, which created Android Auto,” LeBeau reports. “Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are driving toward greater penetration in the auto industry’s ‘phone projection’ market, which takes the capabilities of a driver’s phone and runs them seamlessly through their car.”

“IHS Automotive estimates approximately 600,000 vehicles worldwide were integrated with phone projection systems in 2014. Considering global auto sales last year topped 88 million vehicles, that’s still a drop in the bucket seats. That will change rapidly,” LeBeau reports. “By 2017, 40 million vehicles will be connected to systems such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, said Mark Boyadjis, senior analyst of infotainment for IHS Automotive. He sees that number skyrocketing to a projected 250 million cars in 2020.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “David E.” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

22 Comments

  1. Oh a real battle, that will make one war mongering nation feel good with all sorts of patriotism. Bring on the nuclear arsenal, mobile water boarding torture, car and drone appeal, arms your vehicles, learn to drive offensively, let the road rage rage on. Who knows, you might even be able to squeeze in some driving time.

  2. There will never be a product called iCar.

    Apple has been phasing out the use of “i” in products.

    Apple pay, Apple watch, Apple Tv, replacing iPhoto with ‘photos,’ replacing the iBook with Macbook etc..

    1. Technically MacBook was to free up iBooks, and Apple TV was to avoid confusion with the UK’s ITV network.

      But they could still be phasing out the “i” as it’s becoming dated (though not as much as “e”).

      1. I bought my truck because its has a full cab and yet is easy to haul things.

        Apparently you are the one who sees trucks and feels manhood insecurity issues. I would suggest you not worry, but you are probably better informed as to whether you come short in some way.

    1. Electric cars will outperform your truck any day. Tesla has a high performance car. Electric dragsters are turning in incredible times. Some of the biggest, most powerful trucks in the world are electric. Even your Tron bike is electric.

      Learn something before you spout off about your shortcomings in the manhood department.

    2. You lose both efficiency and power by trying to generate your own chemical power in a cute little portable engine instead of letting your engine focus on the more manly job of harnessing energy to create torque in a much purer form.

      Hemi? Why not go all out and brag about your horse?

  3. As infrastructure improves I think that we will see more and more electric cars. they are better for the environment and much cheaper to rum . Of course the gut swill be batteries , electric motors and a lot of chips and software . I think CarPlay is about a lot more that music and maps and that is what Apple is after although I would not exclude manufacture as well . It is interesting that as well as licensing their technology to car companies they also have licensed to after market manufacturers as well . They certainly did not do that with computers , iPods or iOS devices .

  4. Lord knows the UX of today’s cars is simply horrible. I have both a Prius and a Honda Fit with what are touted as advanced entertainment systems by their manufacturers. Both are terrible, with controls so confusing and unintuitive that I can’t even switch from radio to CD on the Fit without reading the manual (which I refuse to do on general principles).

    I know that creating a modern interface is difficult, but is it THAT difficult? My Sony alarm clock has so many buttons, scattered seemingly at random on the front, top and sides, it’s all I can do to set the alarm.

    Can’t wait for Apple to redesign the UX of in-car entertainment…

    1. So…. you’re the one in front of me with the under-powered 4 cylinder car that won’t get out of the way. ;0)

      To your point however, even Porsche’s entertainment system isn’t perfect. (2015 Macan S)

  5. Assuming Apple really is planning on selling cars it will be fascinating to see what they do.

    I don’t think they will simply make another car. They will be looking at radically changing the car business.

    For example, maybe instead of selling to individuals they could only sell to fleet operators. These would operate like taxi companies. From your iPhone you would ask Siri to summon you an Apple Taxi. This would show up and take you to work or home or such then charge you through the app. Apple could take a fraction of the fee.

    Similarly, when you fly in to an airport the Apple car is waiting at the curb. If you go to a remote area it stays with you like a rental car, if you go to a congested area you release it and get a different one when you need it. You could reserve it the night before so it would be in front of your hotel at departure time.

    Obviously, people who really want their own specialty cars would have them, but for millions of others this would be great. Especially for an aging population afraid of losing their mobility this would be huge.

    This would upset the business because you would avoid all the hassles of selling to individuals and servicing individual cars. If the cars were reasonably modular you might not even have model years as such. Perhaps they could swap out batteries or motors when they wear out, just like changing tires. If the batteries are modular and owned by the fleet operator then when the car needs a charge it heads for a charging station, the battery is swapped with a fresh one and off it goes. This could open the door to Aluminum batteries and similar which are reloadable but not rechargeable which could increase the range quite a bit. There are a lot of possibilities if you are starting from scratch like this.

  6. And then there are all those little things that would make a difference in car performance and fuel efficiency, like continuously monitoring or even maintaining the air pressure in the tires (and perhaps there’s a way to do without air in tires altogether, without sacrificing comfort).

  7. I believe the system that Apple is working will be something akin to what Harman International has in Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Chrysler. Their infotainment systems are currently setting the bar and doing well at it. their computer is similar in power to a MacBook Air and runs QNX OS, has a display and a controller. I would think that Apple will find a way to provide a competitive product with some enhancements that Apple would bring to the cars. Perhaps a deeper integration into the actual controls of the car rather than just displaying data. Being a design center for a full computer system for autos seems to be much more aligned with Apple’s expertise than all these iCar rumors.

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