Apple’s Jeff Williams: The car is the ultimate mobile device

“Will Apple jump into the car business?” Ina Fried wonders for Re/code. “Without actually confirming the iPhone maker will do so, a top executive walked right up to the line at the Code Conference on Wednesday.”

Fried reports, “‘The car is the ultimate mobile device,’ Apple Senior VP Jeff Williams said in response to a question about what else the company will do with its huge cash hoard beyond share buybacks and dividends. ‘We’re exploring a lot of different markets.'”

“Williams said that the deciding factor in choosing new businesses is not the opportunity for revenue growth,” Fried reports, “but rather ‘which ones are ones [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference.'”

More here.

MacDailyNews Take: Jeff’s been to Apple University.

When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it. That philosophy comes directly from [Steve Jobs] and it still very much permeates the place. I hope that it always will.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MotivDev” for the heads up.]


  1. Get it? “Mobile?” Nice play on words. Personally I think this is the reason for the cash hoard. Electric cars lead to self-driving cars, which lead to robotics.

    Also self-driving cars free up the driver. And what will the driver do? Coordinate their life through various digital technologies.

    $200 to $300 billion can make a lot of things happen.

    I imagine a $3 Trillion Apple by 2030 with 3 arms: computer (including all current products), car, concierge (the robot thing).

  2. Can Apple make a huge amount of difference in the automobile market?

    I think the answer is no. Apple may be able to offer niche models, as Tesla has done, but Tesla has not fundamentally changed the world. People will still sit in single-occupancy 5000 pound vehicles to move their 200 pound fat asses around, and whether they are tweeting/messaging/web surfing or actually paying attention to their driving when on the road, there will always be an idiot that IS NOT driving well causing gridlock ahead of the poorly maintained road infrastructure that we all rely on. That is reality. No exotic car with electronic sensors and telecommunications link is going to change the bottleneck ahead.

    I would rather telecommute on a Mac that actually worked efficiently, intuitively, and reliably. It would be insanely great if Apple could get back to doing that.

    1. A lot of sense and intuition in that. Not sure what the future will bring in this regard but somehow the car to a great degree represents a failure in other technologies doing the job better. Have mixed feelings about Apple entering It unless it can truly change and focus the point of it.

    1. How about the rollout of an optional capability, with automatic driving allowed in certain lanes of the freeway? Just enter the (auto)**2 lane with a properly equipped car and that lane zips by at a safe 85mph while the other six lanes go at a 5mph crawl.

      (Did you see that auto-auto idea. Could lead to an ad campaign “You really ought to auto”.

      But maybe (auto)**2 is just for squares.

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