Why does Cupertino want to build the ‘Apple Car?’

We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple’s been working on an “Apple Car” since it was referred to as the “iCar.” But, why would the Cupertino Colossus want to build an “Apple Car” anyway?

vehicle under wraps

Reed Stevenson and Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

For Apple and other behemoths that are diving into self-driving tech or have grand plans for their own cars, that push isn’t just about breaking into a new market — it’s about defending valuable turf.

What’s at stake, essentially, is something even more valuable than profitability: the last unclaimed corner of consumers’ attention during their waking hours.

The amount of time people spend in cars, especially in the U.S., is significant. Americans were behind the wheel for 307.8 hours in 2016, or around six hours a week, according to the latest available data by the American Automobile Association.

That’s a fair chunk of someone’s life not spent using apps on an iPhone, searching on Google or scrolling mindlessly through Instagram. Any company that’s able to free up that time in a meaningful way will also have a good chance of capturing it…

Although Apple has dominated phones, tablets and smartwatches and put up a decent fight over computers for the past few decades, it’s been a laggard in the artificial intelligence, voice and smart-speaker spaces, areas now led by Google and Amazon.

The company would benefit from the release of a breakthrough new product. While it’s had successes with the watch, released in 2015, and services, such as Apple TV, Apple Arcade and Apple Music, which are now a major new source of revenue, nothing has come close to the success of the iPhone, which has redefined entire industries and become Apple’s most lucrative product since its 2007 release.

MacDailyNews Take: Comparing anything to the iPhone – the best-selling product of all-time – is nothing more than a lame attempt to make whatever product to which you’re referring look weak.

Apple Watch is the world’s best-selling watch (and has been for years). Not just smartwatch, watch.

As for the “Apple Car,” it will offer something(s) significant that no other vehicle maker can offer or the company will not release it.

28 Comments

  1. I can’t help but notice how phone-hostile all car designs are. Even cars with Apple play give you absolutely no logical place to put the phone. Phone holders are forced to awkwardly clip on to the AC vents and block the air flow. Meanwhile the built-in screens on the entertainment systems yield an awkward second-rate experience. Looking at the phone while driving is less distracting then mucking with those buggy displays.

    I keep my iPhone completely disconnected from the entertainment system, and charge via the cigarette lighter. Plugging it in via carplay does more harm than good. I couldn’t find an acceptable phone holder that didn’t wobble everywhere or block controls. So I had to build one with metal strips and epoxy.

    So maybe Apple is trying to pressure other automakers to stop using their dashboards to muscle out the phones? Building a whole car around this seems rather extreme. But stranger things have succeeded.

    1. My Alfa Giulia has a beautiful landscape display that is perfect. CarPlay works flawlessly. The audio is great. And there are plenty of places to put the phone. Not a single complaint. And it is a 100% non-electric car that is fueled by the best fuel on the planet – gasoline. No coal plant power required. I can gas it up in 5 minutes and go another 500 miles. And it goes fast. It can hardly be improved on.

      1. Alfa Giulia: I looked that up and yes that layout is probably better than in my car.
        100% non-electric: Spark Plugs, Headlights, Entertainment System, Starter, Defrost, Power Seats, and charging your phone. I don’t think Alfa Giulia is 100% non-electric.

          1. My preference is that it moves. 😉

            I almost bought a hybrid last year, but the numbers didn’t match how I drive so I got a regular car. But they are steadily improving. Ten years from now the cars might convince you.

    2. “I can’t help but notice how phone-hostile all car designs are.”

      I can’t help but notice how DUMB you are. You expect car designs to offer multiple models to accommodate phones from SE to a ProMax size? 🤣

      No, the solution is to ignore brainless blather and go what already works.

      The cup holders are industry standard sizes like light bulb sockets. Simply order a cup phone holder that matches your needs, DONE!

      Whining about car manufacturers simply proves how stupid and clueless you are…

    1. Well it has the socket for one – it’s become the default socket for 12V power in a car. I’ve no use for the part that gets hot, and can’t remember the last time I saw one of those anyway.

        1. Poor baby know it all the last few months is now worried about his narcissistic up votes IMAGE. 🤣

          Breaking News: Voting around here is FAKE and MANIPULATED and I’ll put it in simple terms you can understand.

          Rightist posts overwhelmingly down voted while at the same time Leftist posts overwhelmingly up voted no matter what was said.

          What part do you not understand?…

  2. Apple should take the risk with an EV. Look at Tesla with a P/E of 600+ compared with Apple’s P/E of 30. Apple appears to have a zero-growth P/E value. Maybe Apple will get lucky with the AppleCar and Wall Street might actually give Apple a positive growth value. Apple is throwing tens of billions of dollars away each year on stock buybacks, so why not toy with an AppleCar. I know it won’t be easily affordable, but Apple might get those consumers who never worry about the high cost of products.

    I have seen articles claiming that Tesla is a more high-tech company than Apple. That FSD EVs have a brighter future than smartphones. That is really sad for Apple. Apple needs to step up its tech game if they want to be respected by the industry. Tesla has basically stolen away any respect Apple had. Maybe Apple should start out with something smaller like an AppleBike. That I might be able to afford if it’s like the cost of a VanMoof S3. Maybe electric bikes have a better future than iPhones but we’ll have to let Wall Street decide on that. I still have to shake my head when I see Tesla being valued over a hundred times higher than Apple.

    What is wrong with Apple not getting out there right now and building an AppleCar just to show Tesla who’s the boss? So sad. Investors think AppleWatch is crap that will do nothing for Apple’s bottom line.

    1. Cars are too different from anything Apple does to really benefit much from what Apple can bring to the table. The entertainment system just isn’t a central part of the car, and self-driving is too crude to matter, and might still be so a decade from now. Tesla is not an Apple competitor, any more then Kraft is.

      I’ve mentioned before that I thought Apple should build a camcorder. Now that is a neglected field that Apple could revolutionize. But I suspect their contracts with Sony for iPhone cameras may forbid that.

  3. The columnist should have said it correctly…Google and Amazon, leaders in getting suckers to buy their spyware speakers so they can better harvest their ill-gotten personal habits to manipulate these suckers into buying more crap…Yeah, Apple should do that too.

  4. Apple’s secret sauce will be ecosystem multipliers with a heavy dose of privacy. It’ll also be cheaper than people expect and three years later than presumed.

  5. As of now the status of iCar is Project Titanic after all the high profile hiring and subsequent departures.

    But if Apple finally releases a car after all these years, it needs to be revolutionary change. On the same epic scale as the iPhone NUKING all smartphones and copycats on day one.

    A Tesla tall order, because in the minds of almost everybody and certainly Wall St., Tesla is far and ahead the smart car front runner INNOVATOR of all time. Perception or reality, the mime is baked in.

    Now the tall order to nuke or simply compete is imperative to Cook’s leadership, Steve is not around to hold his hand and pass on established product success similar to the iPhone and Apple Watch game changers.

    Tim is on his own now, we shall see…

    1. Tim is great at logistics; what he did while working under Steve, but when it comes to creative leadership and instinct he is out of his league and offers negative value.

      1. Agreed and well said.

        That’s Cook’s Apple career in a nutshell. All bookkeeping with record slave labor profits in a Communist country and ZERO creative inspiration.

        His stage presence at Apple special events are painful to watch. Particularly the forced excitement through milquetoast wooden lips.

        I have a suspicion he is disdainful of creative talent not in his resume as evidenced by Scott Forstall’s ABRUPT DEPARTURE. Direct result of Scott leaving since Job’s passing: “Lately, Apple has become a ‘me-too’ company”

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/10/30/apple-axes-heir-apparent-in-map-flap-but-problems-run-deeper/

        “And at least right now, he [Forstall] looks to be the heir apparent at the company”

        https://www.cnet.com/home/smart-home/watch-out-tim-cook-apple-vp-scott-forstall-is-eyeing-your-job/

        Certainly this all happened in an Apple galaxy far, far away. But the creative chasm is wider than ever present day.

        Cook could not handle Forstall eyeing his job lingering after Steve’s biggest mistake picking Cook. And then Scott was gone.

        Years later Cook could not handle Sir Jony and let him run free moving home shaving millimeters of of products and removing beloved customer features. Cook SILENT we are charging more for less than we offered in the past.

        Bottom Line: Cook is squandering Apple’s lead business position while competitors consistently innovate and he haplessly follows.

        Cook by whatever arrangement NEEDS TO GO!!!…

        1. Forstall’s ABRUPT DEPARTURE happened because he screwed up the rollout of iOS 6, due to his inability to work with other senior members of Apple management. Everybody saw it coming except a few tech journalists who relied on Forstall for stories and lavished praise on him to keep the leaks coming.

          Forstall spent his entire career at NeXT and Apple (the only tech companies where he has ever worked) in software development. Even when he worked there, he had no knowledge of Apple hardware design or production, managing supply chains, financial administration, or marketing. Since 2013, he has mostly worked as a Broadway producer.

          He is about as likely a candidate as Bill Gates to replace Tim Cook.

          1. NO! Forstall was Steve’s heir apparent for creative skills that Cook only dreams about. Scott was a threat to Cook’s leadership and he needed an excuse to vanquish the number one threat. Cook is a CEO caretaker joke and he can’t carry Scott’s jockstrap…

        2. Listen, gasbag, you accuse other people of posting excessively. Why don’t you give it a break. No one is interested in your volcanic anger or your opinions. Give it and us a break.

  6. What I find interesting is not that there will be an Apple Car of some type, but that the City of Cupertino is going into competition with Apple and making their own car.

  7. One phrase : fear of missing out

    Apple has no new ideas and ev is the next hot industry so Apple hides their lack of innovation by floating the idea they are jumping into the ev game. Consider this, without the EV rumors what else dose Apple have to look forward too ? iPhone supper cycle ? AV/AR glasses ? Boring and 10 years old. Come on Tim lead or get out the way. Tell the truth Apple has become predictable and BORING

Reader Feedback

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