Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market

“Friday’s news of Apple’s permit to test self-driving cars in California should not have come as much of a surprise given the poorly kept secret of Project Titan,” Gene Munster writes for Loup Ventures. “But the permit begs the question of whether Apple is building a car or just building software for a car.”

“In an ideal world, Apple’s car project would involve the company building the actual automobile, combining hardware and software,” Munster writes. “In reality, the complexity of designing and manufacturing a vehicle may push the company to integrate deeply with an automotive partner or partners in an effort more similar to the Apple TV — plugging Apple’s technology into an existing product.”

“Apple is almost certainly exploring how it could build an entire car, but as we learned the hard way with an Apple television, exploration does not mean a product comes to market,” Munster writes. “Apple is the best connected device maker in the world and the car is the biggest connected device in the world.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Do we really have to endure another ROKR debacle in order to get where we all really want to go?

Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016
Gene Munster gives up the Apple Television ghost – May 19, 2015


  1. Sorry Gene but you lost me years ago after the Television stupidity.

    Apple Car will be software and sensor systems, NOT building a physical vehicle…..!!!

    1. To be fair, there are way more chances that Apple is building an entire car. Literally every major car manufacturer already has developed AI systems for autonomous driving (Mercedes, Toyota, BMW, Tesla, Google, though they do not make cars, among others). There is nothing much that Apple can bring into this; the software for cars can already make them fully autonomous (with a proper set of sensors attached), and only regulations do not allow them to behave this way now.

      So yes, only building a car a whole makes sense. And yes, the fact that Apple does significant R&D on this field does not mean that they will release a car. Apple will only do it if they will be able to make it BETTER than what Tesla/Toyota/Mercedes/et cetera will have by 2020.

      1. You got it. Makes no sense to do software alone. The only way Apple can stand out is through hardware/software integration. Otherwise, they ought to just wrap it up, call it a day and stop spending money that will never see a return.

        1. I can agree with that. Apple tends to keep hardware variation to a minimum. Having to deal with disparate sensor locations and systems should Apple partner with multiple manufacturers would not be in their comfort zone.

  2. “ROKR debacle”

    I loved my Rokr. People make the mistake of comparing it to the iPhone instead of comparing it to other feature phones of the time. The Rokr E1 had awesome battery life (measured in days) and was probably the best mobile speaker phone ever made.

    The E2 was a downgrade, but the V3i was essentially a Razr with iTunes. Again, not an iPhone, but since this was before the iPhone, if you wanted a Razr, which a lot of people did, getting one that you could load up on iTunes with 100 songs or podcasts was better than one that you couldn’t.

    1. They will partner as soon as they’ve been purchased with a little of Apple’s spare change.

      Tessa is a great brand, but anyone would choose an Apple-Mclaren over a Tesla.

  3. I don’t see any sign that there are major car manufacturers looking to buy a ready-made car operating system. Most of them are working on their own systems and have made it perfectly clear that they wish to avoid any system controlled by Apple, Google, or any other tech company.

    The only realistic option for Apple is to create the entire thing themselves, the autonomous driving technology, the car itself, the propulsion system and the manufacturing process. Anything else would mean trying to form a partnership with people who don’t want to get involved.

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