What to expect from the Apple Car: Disruption

“On its face, a car seems like a disastrous thing for Apple Inc. to build. Cars are a brutally commodified, terrifically expensive, generally low-margin industry. Entering the car business is like getting into a land war,” Christopher Mims writes for The Wall Street Journal. “But the mounting evidence seems undeniable that Apple is forging ahead anyway, despite lack of confirmation from the company. Clearly, Apple thinks it has the chance to make a unique contribution to a category chockablock with ho-hum user experiences and barely differentiated models. Sort of like the phone industry before Apple crashed the party.”

“If you spend time examining the industry, it becomes apparent that transportation, more so than cars, is ripe for disruption in a way that could give Apple an opening,” Mims writes. “But reordering the status of a device as entrenched as an automobile—tied up as it is with vast public spending, the direct and indirect employment of tens of millions and layers of politics—isn’t something that happens overnight.”

Mims writes, “So here’s my first prediction about the Apple car: If Apple does go forward with it, the company is playing a long game, one that could easily span decades.”

Much more in the full article, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Apple Car,” here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in March:

When Apple enters markets, it’s because they can bring something(s) so unique to the table that significant disruption is inevitable.

Apple Car: Tesla engineer joins Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ vehicle effort – August 21, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Time for some highlight and translations why not this is a /shjtt post (satire, humor, joke, tall tale).

    “Entering the car business is like getting into a land war.”
    – Great, war on drugs, terror, and now the land, heck if it wasn’t for the fact that the anustralians beat the americans to the punch it would be the war on everything.

    “But the mounting evidence seems undeniable that Apple is forging ahead anyway, despite lack of confirmation from the company.”

    -Heck who needs confirmation from Apple when analysts spewing at the mouth is all the evidence needed.

    “No one knows what the company’s internal logic is.”

    – Lots of people know, especially Apple employees. Actually I think most of the regular folks that visit here and the staff at MDN know Apple’s logic. They do have a mission statement too, actually a few of them. I like the 1980 one: ““To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
    Now certainly I can understand the confusion by the author, I mean face it back in 1980 it was all right to advance humankind. These days well that’s downright unpatriotic in some countries.

    Oh then he goes on with his predictions (verbal diarrhea here it comes). Number 1: Apple is in it for the long haul. Ohhh that’s going to make a positive IQ score, still single digit but definitely a positive IQ score.

    Prediction number 2: “Who says that, in its ultimate form, it will resemble a car at all?”

    Isn’t it interesting, making a prediction in the form of a question. Or maybe it’s just plain stupid. I’m certainly not the one saying whether or not it will resemble a car but then again, I like facts, gosh that has so little to do with journalism today.

    Maybe the author is making a plea, maybe he’s asking for that person “who says that in its ultimate form, it will resemble a car at all?” because he’s too lazy to look it up and he’s used up his quota of “unnamed sources” for the month.

    At any rate, more speculative drivel. I can’t wait to see what the community says, it’s usually more insightful.

  2. Apple Car….

    Hmmm its just like Apple TV in that Apple is smart not to get into the panel business. They should probably stay away from platform (car/truck) business.

    Both are similar in that there are low margin business and the high value is in the brain or the smarts that goes in it.

    I get the sexiness of cool car (e.g., Ferrari, Tesla, Porsche and so on) but the big money is made in mass market vehicles (yawn). Which says, if Apple does anything with vehicles, look for collaboration with heavy OS integration for the autonomous driving to entertainment for the vehicle.

    The current car integration is bit of a joke and they need to definitely do something much better than what they have done so far.

  3. From what I’ve read, Apple doesn’t seem interested in building a combustion engine. That’s where all the complexity is. Electric engines are simple by comparison.
    The only big challenges are the battery and infrastructure on the road. For that you need a leadership with vision that can stay the corse, the ability to think big, and the money to back it up long term.
    Hmmm, sounds like Apple.

  4. Apple wont build a car for the same reasons they wont make a TV, no margins and long upgrade cycles. Also, when the iOS on your phone is buggy, it’s annoying at worst, if your car gets buggy it can range from annoying to inconvenient to fatal, and I don’t think Apple needs to open themselves up to that level of risk.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.