Apple, BMW flirting with an eye on car collaboration

“BMW and Apple may rekindle a courtship put on hold after an exploratory visit by executives of the world’s top maker of electronic gadgets to the headquarters of the word’s biggest seller of premium cars,” Edward Taylor and Julia Love report for Reuters. “Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook went to BMW’s headquarters last year and senior Apple executives toured the carmaker’s Leipzig factory to learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. The dialogue ended without conclusion because Apple appears to want to explore developing a passenger car on its own, one of the sources said. Also, BMW is being cautious about sharing its manufacturing know-how because it wants to avoid becoming a mere supplier to a software or internet giant.”

“During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said,” Taylor and Julia Love report. “‘Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,’ a senior BMW source said.”

“BMW has realized next-generation vehicles cannot be built without more input from telecoms and software experts, and Apple has been studying how to make a self-driving electric car as it seeks new market opportunities beyond phones,” Taylor and Julia Love report. “Earlier this year, BMW’s new R&D chief Klaus Froehlich said his company and Apple had much in common, including a focus on premium branding, an emphasis on evolving products and a sense of aesthetically pleasing design.”

“If Apple decided to sell a car it could make sense to find a partner to help with industrial scale production, retail and repair, since demand for such a vehicle could be high… If only 1 percent of Apple’s annual iPhone customers decided to order a car, it would need to make 1.69 million vehicles,” Taylor and Julia Love report. “Even BMW Group, which made just over 2 million cars last year, would struggle to free up capacity.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple were to partner with an existing vehicle maker in some fashion, they certainly picked a worthy candidate.

SEE ALSO:
Apple said to be in talks to use BMW i3 carbon fiber body as basis for its own electric car – July 27, 2015
BMW: Our talks with Apple don’t involve developing or building a car – March 5, 2015
Apple wants to start producing vehicles as soon as 2020, sources say – February 19, 2015
Why Apple is all charged up about electric cars – February 19, 2015
Apple Car should have Detroit shuddering in absolute fear – February 19, 2015
Lawsuit claims Apple poaching auto engineers to build large-scale battery division – February 19, 2015
Apple poached workers for new battery division, A123 Systems lawsuit claims – February 18, 2015
Apple Car: Apple’s ambition knows no bounds – February 18, 2015
Rethinking the Apple Car. Rethinking Apple. – February 18, 2015
Forget the rumor: Apple will never build cars – February 17, 2015
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

22 Comments

  1. As proud owner of several of their motorcycles, I have always said that “Apple is the BMW of X”.

    Now they may go all the way!

    Alos, check out the “How it’s Made” episode for the i3 – fascinating!

    1. Let me be a little more specific.

      Since we know by experience that Apple can’t upgrade their own software including iOS, MacOS, iTunes, Apple Music and others on their own hardware without wrecking havoc every time,

      I can’t help but to be very worried about what will happen the day Apple uses their software and to automate a car!!!?????!!!!

      1. I would much rather have a safe Apple OS in my car than an easy to hack Android or current car OS. Chrysler just recalled about 1.2 million vehicles because of a hacking issue. Which automobile manufacturer is next? No thanks, I don’t want to mysteriously drive off a cliff. Apple car to the rescue.

        1. So you’re mother still reads you bedtime stories. Nice!

          How old are you?

          To see if Apple OS’s are really secure, le me suggest you start by reading the following article:

          http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/18/technology/apple-keychain-passwords/index.html?Sr=twmoney062115majormac0500story

          Then, if you want to go a little further, you might also want to research the National Vulnerability Database which is maintained by the U.S. government. The links is below,

          https://nvd.nist.gov/

          You will find that Apple vulnerabilities have sky rocketed and are at an all-time high in 2015.

          In other words, Apple OS’s, including MacOS and iOS (of course), keep getting LESS SECURE every year!

          Happy reading!

          🙂

        2. Oh yeah and I forgot this one …

          A team of expert security researchers published an article stating that “MacOS is the most vulnerable OS” on the planet today!

          For those who need help to understand what it means, here’s a quick translation:

          (i) it basically means the MacOs is THE LEAST SECURE of all OS’s on the planet today!

          (ii) iOS is the SECOND LEAST secure OS on the planet today

          What’s more is the same study found that Microsoft has the most secure OS’s on the planet with the MOST SECURE being Windows RT!!!!!!!!

          IMPORTANT NOTE: The conclusion of this study is also in-line with the information published on the NVD (National Vulnerability Database).

          You can read (or have your mother read it for you) by going to the following link:

          http://www.zdnet.com/article/mac-os-x-is-the-most-vulnerable-os-claims-security-firm/

          🙂

        3. BTW, here’s another article “fresh off the press”, dated August 3 2015, which you might want to read.

          The title is “Thunderstrike 2: Remote Attacks Can Now Install Super Stealth ‘Firmworm’ Backdoors On Apple Macs”.

          I also provide here the link for your convenience. The link is http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2015/08/03/apple-mac-firmworms/

          Instead of just voting me down, I would appreciate it if you can give me a list of articles written by security experts which support your claim that “Apple has a safe OS”!

          You can at least try!??!

  2. I’ve had five BMWs in my life – I love the brand and agree there are synergies with Apple. That said, BMW’s iDrive system is in close competition with Ford’s Sync (the Microsoft version) for the worst on-board tech in the world. I hope Apple looks to BMW for mechanicals and manufacturing, and not telematics.

    1. I second the motion on iDrive. Was really hoping that CarPlay would have arrived last year. But it didn’t and I caved. Wanted the 328i too badly. Now I suffer with electronic mediocrity in an otherwise first rate vehicle.

  3. It is worth noting that the first time Apple tried to make a laptop computer – the Powerbook 100 – it went to Sony for internals design and manufacturing. Over time, Apple learned how to squeeze more functionality into less space on its own, but it all started with Sony. So it might be with BMW and an Apple car…

  4. In effect, the car manufacturer becomes the equivalent of Foxconn and Pegatron for Apple’s consumer electronics. BMW is probably not the ideal candidate for this role. It is more likely that BMW and Apple will “partner: for an interim car project that is an existing BMW model, with Apple branding and user interface tech. A showcase and testbed for a more advanced version of CarPlay.

    Later, cars that are designed by Apple will be manufactured by a “contractor” with the factories, which could be BMW, but probably a lesser automaker willing to be Apple’s subordinate (not “partner”) in the venture.

  5. I detect a sense of Luddite like false security on BMWs part when it was noted “BMW is being cautious about sharing its manufacturing know-how.”

    Manufacturing know-how is so widely known by engineers, auto industry publications, contract suppliers and automation sources, that Apple can reverse engineer materials and processes with relative ease … as can other auto manufacturers.

  6. I wonder if Apple will go the driverless car route like Google. Google has done some impressive work with their driverless AI. Apple would have their work cut out for them if they wanted to catch up.

    But somehow I’m thinking not. Apple’s DNA is about experience. And deep down what is more thrilling than driving your own car? Consciously or not, Apple’s designers and engineers will want to tap into that thrill and amplify the pleasure. Automate what is nonessential to the experience and enhance what is fundamental to making driving so pleasurable, which is the feeling of power and control.

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