Apple veers out of its lane: iCar could crash and burn

“The iCar may be closer to reality than anyone knew — but the road to success is paved with potholes,” Jessica Van Sack writes for The Boston Herald.

“Apple is known for keeping a tight lid on innovation, yet records show it registered the domains Apple.Car and Apple.Auto on Dec. 9, the latest sign that the Cupertino-based consumer electronics giant is developing an electric vehicle,” Van Sack writes. “The fast-tracked development of an electric vehicle constitutes the most ambitious project to date by the most valuable company in the world. And it’s destined to end in an unsightly wreckage.”

“Apple’s top brass don’t know the first thing about entering the car industry. It takes more than a boatload of cash and hundreds of poached automobile hires to become an automaker,” Van Sack writes. “Apple is far too late to the game. Google had a decadelong head start. Its self-driving vehicles have completed 2 million miles of autonomous driving and are still not ready to come to market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just getting this baseless hit-piece on record for future reference.

Apple registers ‘’ and ‘’ domain names
Friday, January 8, 2016

Jean-Louis Gassée on Apple Car: Money, design UI, vehicle distribution – November 30, 2015
Analyst: Apple Car will cost an average of $55,000 – October 16, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
What to expect from the Apple Car: Disruption – August 31, 2015
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


    1. That’s what they said about iPhone too. Remember how “Apple doesn’t know the mobile phone market”? Remember how “the only reason the iPod was successful is because there weren’t any real competitors when it entered the market”? Remember how the mobile phone market was supposedly “already mature and saturated” in 2007?

      1. Remember how long Apple had been developing the iPhone before Google came in? How long did it take for Google to get up to speed and build Android? Even if they hadn’t had Eric the Mole on the Apple board, 2nd generation suppliers rarely take as long as innovators.

        Apple in this case already has a boatload of information from Google and others’ projects to enter the market without taking the first-to-market risk ( Tesla took that ).

      2. Yes are her words too close to those of the woefully deluded Palm precedent to be mere coincidence? Is she having a laugh or is she simply stupid enough to be beyond delusion altogether?

        As for Google their interest is in self driving cars that won’t be mainstream for who knows how long and not in the foreseeable future, it’s more about traction and drivetrain related innovations that Apple is far more interested in. Meanwhile Google plays with their interest in a marketing opportunity over practicality at least shorter term just, as they did with Glass. In the real world self drive characteristics into cars will gradually be introduced in the way Tesla and others plan. There is no indication that Google is applying advances to the drivetrain aspects of the car and what we see so far looks more akin to a Sinclair C5 than a Tesla in that regard. Once again the critics simply have no understanding of the real advances in the future of transport. but prefer to buy into ploys simply designed to catch their unquestioning attention for publicity, while Apple goes about its business with no need to fantasise about their own plans.

    2. At first, I thought that this was an Onion parody of the articles about the iPhone. All you would have to do is swap phone for car…

      There is an incredible misperception that only someone who has personal experience with a technology or device can possibly be successful in that market area. How much experience did Elon Musk have with electric cars or rockets before he started Tesla and SpaceX?? How much did Steve Jobs know about computers before hooking up with Woz?

      Case closed.

      1. Steve Jobs knew a lot about computers before he met Woz. He grew up in silicon and took advantage of some great opportunities. He talked about how going to HP as a kid influence him. He was one of the few people to use the first desktop, the Altair. So was Bill Gates, it gave them an early understanding of the potential of the personal computer. He had a job at Atari, yes he used Woz for part of it but he was the one who landed the job. Steve Jobs knew about computers before he met Woz. It was their shared knowledge that led to their friendship.

  1. Oh boy here we go again. They said that about the MP3 player, the iPhone, the iPad, the watch, now the car. And what was the results of NOT knowing about any of these product categories?
    Record sales and Apple is the most valuable company.
    You think Apple just goes into a new category without R&D behind it? They worked on the iPhone development for 5 years. Hello!

  2. I dunno what to make of the car rumors. it seems unlikely to me but I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. but is it possible that Apple buys these new domain names as they become available to keep their brand intact?

    1. Perhaps Apple is not going to build their own car. Perhaps Apple sees the automobile as simply one more device that can be integrated into the Apple ecosystem, and is working on ways to blend it with your mobile devices and the other possibilities offered by self-driving cars. People using self-driving cars will have a lot of free time during their commutes to listen to music, watch videos, buy stuff online, do social media, etc. Across the U.S., that adds up to billions of person-hours each year.

  3. All of this talk about too late to enter the market defies common sense.

    Apple worked for years on a touch system. Google et al came along and copied much of it within 18 months of the iPhone’s ship date.

    If Apple decides to enter the auto business (specultive at this point) why wouldn’t they be able to ramp up their own production methjods.

    I grew up in a town that made cars. It survived 4 different owners. It made cars. Nothing magic about that.

    There’s an idea out there that autos are difficult to produce. Really? Why? Fairy components? Wizards creating fuel systems?

  4. I said all of this shit about the iPhone. I just couldn’t figure how “Apple Computer” was going to break into the crappy mobile phone world, let alone why. How could they compete with all the device makers out there already, I wondered. And why would they even want to get into bed with the likes of AT&T, Verizon, etc.

    Sometimes it takes an outsider to show the entrenched insiders how things should be done.

    1. I have to admit, I had some reservations about the iPhone rumors before I saw Steve’s presentation unveiling it to the world. Then it all made sense.

      Apple 2.0 did a good job with the Apple Watch. Let’s hope that it can successfully handle a much more complex endeavor. My money is, and will continue to be, on Apple and AAPL.

  5. One detail of Jessica Van Sack’s article is quite true. Apple doesn’t know about entering the car industry. However what she fails to notice is that Apple didn’t have much experience of entering any of the existing business sectors that it has successfully disrupted. Apple did the groundwork and developed a proposition that was quite unlike what was previously available,

    The point being that Apple takes a different approach to the established players. To those who rely on ‘conventional wisdom’, Apple’s approach will always seem strange and doomed to fail. It’s as though those people imagine that there is only one way to do a given task.

    However there is something of a pattern developing. Others have already pointed out how Macs, iPods, iPhones, iPads and Apple watches were initially greeted with derision by most commentators, yet they went on to not only be hugely successful in their own right, but became the ‘inspiration’ for many competing products in those categories.

    It’s also worth remembering that Apple’s foray into bricks and mortar stores was also greeted with scorn by people declaring that Apple shops would be shuttered within two years.

    Apple always comes up with an original product and a strategy to monetise it. The commentators always fall back on that same old routine of insisting that this time it’s not going to work.

    Her comparison with Google is quite absurd. Google may well have managed millions of miles of autonomous driving at low speeds on a very small network of intricately-mapped roads, but that’s entirely different to driving at the same speed as other traffic on ordinary roads in any country. Google also had a multi-year head start with Google glass, but the product they launched was not fit for purpose and production ceased.

    It’s not enough to simply be first to market with some sort of product. Success goes to whoever comes to market with a product which delights it’s users by doing a great job of what those customers are expecting it to do.

  6. Was the ex-Palm CEO Ed Colligan used as a source for that article?

    “They’ve learned and struggled for a few years figuring out how to make a decent car,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.'”


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