Oh, yes, an Apple Car will succeed

“While the electric vehicle (EV) market still represents just a fraction of all light vehicles sold worldwide, it’s growing fast,” Chris Neiger writes for The Motley Fool. “In 2015 there was roughly 2.4 million EVs sold, but that will more than double to 6 million by 2024, according to Navigant Research.”

“Apple is expected to launch its car in 2019, which means it could enter the market as EVs are hitting their stride,” Neiger writes. “After 2024, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says sales of EVs are expected to take off. The company’s recent report shows that while EVs make up just 1% of sales right now, they’ll reach 35% by 2040.”

“While Apple is already dabbling in auto infotainment systems with CarPlay, its real advantage in setting itself apart in the car market is to create a car OS from the ground up,” Neiger writes. “With all the technology automakers have crammed into vehicles, there’s still a desperate need to sort it better, make it more accessible, and distract us less. If there was ever a software company to do that, it’s Apple, and it could be the feature to truly set its car apart from the rest of the pack.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple enters the market, the carnage will be legion.

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.Ed Colligan, former CEO of the now-defunct Palm, Inc., November 16, 2006


  1. MDN:

    I’ve iCal’d your comment.

    You’re arrogance is misguided. The auto industry is unlike anything else Apple has entered into. It has something no other market has had that Apple has walked into: really good products. And lots of them. Porsche 911. Smart Car. Honda Fit. Lincoln MKZ. 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan. Ferrari. On and on.

    Then the looming ones like the Chevy Bolt and Model 3. The big auto manufacturers also have been working on electric cars for years. They’re all set to launch within the next 5 years. Check out the Volkswagen eBugster.

    The massive amount of experience, patents, and manufacturing muscle along with great products makes this an industry immune to Apple dominance.

    Apple will struggle to get the distribution and service centres in place globally in any reasonable amount of time. The costs for entering this market are huge. And the industry won’t sit still.

    Even if Apple can do some cool features, the other guys will easily catch up and/or copy those.

    Do I want an Apple Car? Yes. I think they can sell some. But I don’t see the world moving over to the Apple Car. Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen, Porsche, etc. will all be around a very long time with lots of innovation and new products to come.

    1. Yup, you are partly right.

      Everytime Apple enters a new market, there were good products before. After they enters the market, they redefine the category. Like you said, the others play catchup. The car model is old, unimaginative and clustered with all sorts of unecessary money grabbing addon/option.

      Nobody believed Apple with their Apple store. Look at it now, they are mostly everywhere.

      They will be the only Car company with no dept and a cash flow that no company has ever even have in their account.

      They will enter the market healthy and powerful.

      If, and this is where everything will be played, the Apple car is a hit. There will be a revolution greatly applaud… At last.

      If not, they will catchup!

      1. therealspike:

        You are wrong. Apple’s business model has been to make breakthrough devices in markets with crap products.

        -1984: Macintosh vs crap nonGUI based computers.
        -iPod vs crap MP3 players and crap software.
        -iMac vs crap, ugly desktop PCs.
        -iPhone vs crap mobile phones with no real web browser or good UIs.
        -iPad vs crap PC stylus driven tablets.

        The auto industry is NOT like this. It’s full of innovation and some amazing vehicles. From Tesla to Porsche, lust worthy, high tech products ALREADY exist.

        I wish Apple all the best but without Steve Jobs, I’m betting against them on this one.

        Apple needs to innovate in a few key areas like range and interior UI.

        Given what Tesla has achieved and what the big players have been developing with electric drivetrains and batteries, Apple will not be able to substantially separate itself with range.

        Apple can win the UI part though. But with Android Auto and other stuff, they will not dominate just because of this feature.

        Cars that park themselves? Done. Cars with wheels that turn 180 degrees to elimate parallel parking? Done. Cars with suspension that provides zero cabin turbulance? Done. Cars with an air barrier on the windshield to eliminate windshield wipers? Done. On and on.

        I believe Apple can offer something new and something that appeals to us Apple fans. But they will not monoplize the industry. Too much innovation and too much competition is why.

    2. I have to agree on this one. Apple could and arguably should make meaningful contributions to the auto space but to think they will dominate or produce carnage is deep into the realm of wishful thinking. Yes they can, and hopefully will, put a lot of pressure on other automakers to adapt. Most car companies use ancient tech and are slow to adopt new features.

      While we have the iPhone as a shining example of successfully ripping down prior industry barriers…we also have the Apple TV example which shows they simply cannot force their way into entrenched industries or be terribly successful in all cases (note: I love my Apple TVs, but it isn’t taking over the television world after years in the wild). Autos will be no different. Apple will likely be too dependent on other partners to construct and build the car to really make a dent in the universe here.

      Will Apple make a single model car? (At first, likely). Will they have a range of vehicle choices? You can’t take over the world with one size fits all.

      Tesla’s gigafactory will double the global production of LiOn batteries. Where will the capacity come from to build an Apple vehicle that takes over the world if you can’t store the energy and production of batteries isn’t increasing elsewhere? Soooo much infrastructure has to be in place that is far outside Apple’s areas of expertise (and which doesn’t seem to be in place or in the process of being in place) that it just sounds silly to predict they will have a crushing force on the industry.

      1. I think its safe to say that they have thought about all possible scenarios regarding the automobile industry. Your concern was probably just a small part of their discussion. Common man they are in the industry, its what they are working on. Our speculation doesn’t even come close to the level they must be functioning in.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, I am cheering for Apple to enter the business as I think they are fully capable of producing something wonderful. But Apple actually needs to own the whole hog on this one (from manufacturing to service to charging/filling) if they really want to impact the market for autos and provide an end to end service to disrupt the ICE world. Short of that…Apple will not meet their potential or live up to the premature accolades showered on them by MDN.

          I would love it if Apple and Tesla upended the entire industry but I’m not holding my breath that Apple will pull it off. That’s why I don’t yet share the MDN sentiment about the impact of a future Apple automobile.

    3. If Tim Cook built a toaster, you would get warm bread.

      If he built a washing machine, it would stall midway through the cycle.

      If he built a house it would rain in your living room.

      There is no way in hell I would trust my safety and my life with a lazy, greedy incompetent. Knowing Cook, he would use the cheapest parts possible and be sued into oblivion once the car started to fall apart and wreak havoc… And it WILL prematurely fall apart!

        1. Your five-year-old iMac was designed before Cook halted Mac performance development and instructed Ive to put every product through the panini press.

          The last great update on the Mac platform was the GPU that drives the Apple 5K iMac. Unfortunately, many users are not willing to be constrained to an all-in-one especially with near zero upgradeability, and Apple refuses to offer pros GPUs capably of driving UHD resolution onto multiple displays in any other Mac.

          Tinkerers can upgrade a 2010 Mac Pro (again, before Tim Cook and Jony Ive took over) or Hackintoshes can be built using other PC hardware, but for all practical purposes, Mac performance has completely stagnated for the last 4 years.

    4. Tesla has 400,000 preorders of the Model 3 within one month of its unveiling. This is the most excitement I have ever witnessed for any vehicle. One of the reasons why there is so much interest is because of the public’s disdain towards most automobile manufacturers. Many think global climate change is a result of ICE vehicles. These automobile companies could of helped alleviate global climate change years ago by bringing non ICE products to the market, but, instead, they decided to lay in bed with the oil industry and corrupt governments. How many wars have we fought, lives have we lost, and treasure have we plundered to protect that black gold? The Koch brothers and their supporters will continue to spend millions of dollars trying to convince the uneducated that oil is really, really, really great, but the gig is up. The public has become wise to their deceptive plots.

      So here we sit, on the precipice of a massive shift, and the vehicle manufacturers are still dragging their feet by producing ICE, or unimaginative alternatives. Fast forward to 2019-2020 and Tesla and Apple will sell every single car they can produce. By 2025, or even sooner, the dumbest purchase any human could ever make would be an ICE. By 2030 the resale value on those gas guzzlers will be zero. In 2025, the traditional vehicle manufacturers will be clinging to a thread like BlackBerries, still trying to sell their pollution machines. Apple will produce their vehicles like iPhones and clean-up.

      1. The high number of preorders has been interesting, as it smells of speculators.

        And for the question of how quickly the market may change, it’s really more to some external factors at the present: it is expenses, including high fuel costs, which is the economic motivator for the consumer to seek alternatives to the ICE, and it is environmental regulations which can move the OEM Manufacturers. With demand shifting, the market won’t change all that rapidly.

    5. I feel compelled to point out that prior to the unveiling of the iPhone many thought that mobile phones were already well designed and were wondering what Apple could possibly offer. As a designer I can tell you that multitude of revolutionary interface improvements are possible that would enhance control of the vehicle. Think bigger than what you have seen thus far in the auto industry. We are nowhere near the end of the design of the automobile.

      I’m not saying that Apple can pull off a revolution in auto design, although I think they have a better chance than most. I have my own concerns over what many consider Apple’s greatest strength, which is software. The CarOS needs to be robust in a way that OSX and iOS have never been. CarOS cannot fail. If it goes down for any reason the system needs to be able to reboot on the fly. Apple has a lot of trade off decisions to make regarding where CarOS ends and where the mechanical systems begin. They have lots of opportunity to make bad decisions, and your guess is as good as mine if they can get that balance right.

  2. Apple should try to do only those things that it can do well. Can it make a car with a good suspension system and brakes?

    Perhaps, but what does that have to do with things that it knows how to do? The iPod was a small hard drive connected to software, the iPod Touch added a GUI, the iPhone and iPad can be connected “genetically” to previous products…but a car?

    I vote for Apple to make a GREAT battery system or sound system or software for self-driving, but why make a car when the profit margins are slim and there is no connection to existing excellence?

  3. When it happens it going to be a lot quicker that the time frame mentioned. Tesla already has booking of model 3 to the tune of 300,000+ even with hazy delivery date. The Industrial Revolution era fossil fuel based car companies are going to die out like Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, Palm etc. They won’t be able to react. Even in India, there is tremendous interest for Model3 which will cost about the same as premium fuel based cars. But with extremely low maintenance and superior efficiency, its going to sell in millions.

    1. Natural gas, not coal. The advent of cheap gas has made coal uneconomical in most regions (and that’s even before you take into account the many pollution effects from the dirty fuel).

      In other regions, hydropower, solar, and wind are viable economic competitors for new energy generation.

      And aside from all of that, it is vastly easier and more effective to manage pollution from a few hundred professionally maintained central powerplants than from millions of individual car engines.

      Where have you been?

      1. Well, once Obama bankrupts all the coal companies maybe natural gas. Natural gas is a “fossil fuel” so it will destroy the earth and end Apple and everything because fossil fuels are evil and cause the climate to change. A wind powered car would be great – priced at about $100 grand.

  4. Oh, sure, it will work out great……………at a time when electrical generation plants are being shut down and not replaced at a record pace.

    And a large part of the world is too cold for electrics to be practical. Go for it if you want.

    But the magic sky unicorn will send us free power

  5. The business that should worry most about an Apple car is the insurance business. If Apple makes a theft-proof, accident-proof, break-in proof, trackable vehicle and that can be driver-assisted rather than assisting the driver, the car insurance companies and their brokers are toast. I don’t believe Europeans especially are going to stop driving their over-engineered German vehicles but American and Japanese car companies will supply Apple with parts and become OEM’s for a time.

    No, to me, insurance companies have the most to worry about.

  6. IF Apple produces a vehicle, it will be like Tesla’s. High-end, expensive, sophisticated, and (hopefully), reliable and safe. It won’t upend the market. It won’t replace everything that came before it (as the iPod and iPhone did). It will be a Mac to the automotive world – desirable, somewhat expensive, but just a fraction of the market. Most people want more from their cars than just transportation, and they want it in many different styles and levels of utility. Will Apple make a pickup truck, a muscle car, a minivan, a luxury sedan, an ecobox, or an SUV? Will any of that even make sense in the auto industry of the future? (Self-driving cars, community vehicles, etc.). If Apple gets 5% of the auto industry (and I’m still not assuming their auto research will actually come to fruition at all), I’ll be shocked, but honestly, they’ll need far less than that for it to be considered a wild success. It won’t be the car for Everyman, and most of us won’t be able to afford one. That’s the cold, hard truth of the AppleCar. Like it or not.

    1. Funny – Very low votes for this. Out of curiosity, am I down-voted for people not believing what I said? Or for people not liking it? If the former, I’d like to hear someone else’s considered argument against.

    2. Well said Grrrilla … Apple’s business model isn’t about making the “priced for Everyman” products – this isn’t going to be a $15K Beetle equivalent, but something that we can be sure which won’t be priced below the industry’s Median (IIRC, which today is roughly the low $30’s).

      And the Mac is a prime example of this … no low-end $300 model and profit margins before market share growth. Ditto for the iOS family hardware, although a little less obvious.


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