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Apple developing their own car?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Dutchie, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. Apple has always been a consumer products company. The car was a big stretch, but at least it was a consumer product. Now they are going to develop underlying tech (probably autopilot) for other companies to integrate into their cars? If that is the case, given that everyone and their brother is working on autopilot too, one wonders what unique thing Apple will bring to the table.

    It is almost sounding like this will, in the end, by a souped up Apple CarPlay, which wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Since we have AP on the freeway, it sure would be nice to be able to glance at my screens and see text messages and emails...
     
  2. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Maybe their goal is to develop Apple Maps for cars...
     
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  3. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Never made sense to me that Apple would build car. The margins are just not there (20-30% GM) and it requires significant capital expenditure up-front. Or you outsource to a contract manufacturer and forgo even more margin.

    Would make far more sense to develop underlying tech that they can then license to car companies at 50% GM or higher.
     
  4. voyager

    voyager Member

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  5. vinnie97

    vinnie97 #WalkAway

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    Good, the less I have to hear about an Apple car, the better.
     
  6. SR22pilot

    SR22pilot Member

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    The same could have been said about mp3 players and cell phones when Apple entered.

    I am disappointed. Apple has a problem. The iPhone has grown so big that it dwarfs the rest of their product line. Both Apple TV and Apple Watch are wildly successful if viewed by themselves but pale next to the iPhone. Apple has more than $200B to play with. There aren't many areas that make sense. They looked at TV's which is a low margin area and would require some very good secret sauce to compete in. That got scrapped. I still think automobiles would be an excellent move. The current change is much like the move from tubes to transistors or perhaps transistors to integrated circuits. Those transitions opened the way for new companies to take over from the old leaders. With the move to an electric drivetrain the car becomes a software platform much like the phone has become. To me that means opportunity. If not the electric car then what area does it make sense for Apple to expand into? Uber using autonomous vehicles is an interesting area but Apple would have a lot more opportunity if they made their own car since they could control the image and branding much better. Now they will be just another vendor in that area offering a service and competing on price. Tesla, on the other hand, will be like Apple today. They will offer their own product tightly branded and controlled including the car itself.

    At one time I had hoped Apple and Google would each do an electric car and that they would partner with Tesla and adopt Tesla's charging standard. Superchargers would have changed from Tesla to TAG for Tesla, Apple & Google. With the resources of Google and Apple it would have been easy to expand to thousands of charging locations. That would have put the ICE vendors at a huge disadvantage as they moved to an electric product line. Oh well. It looks like that won't happen.
     
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  7. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Not so. At the time Apple entered into the mp3 player market in 2001 they were only seeing 23% gross margins from PCs and on a serious decline. It was at a time where darn near anything successful could have boosted their margins, even a car.

    In 2007 they took the model that worked for iPods so well and repeated it with the iPhone and sustained those fat, 50% gross margins.

    Now they are hamstrung to those 50% GMs and I don't see how they could ever do a car.
     
  8. SR22pilot

    SR22pilot Member

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    You missed my point. When Apple entered the market margins were low. They generated high margins with premium devices paired with a premium image. As battery costs fall, the car will become more software dominated. Apple has dominated by pairing hardware and software. Making software that runs on other companies' hardware is more like Microsoft.

    If not cars then name another market for Apple to expand into. Phones are maturing. I think upgrade cycles are starting to slip. I know I used to upgrade every 2 years but I am skipping this year and moving to a 3 year cycle.
     
  9. Zarwin

    Zarwin Member

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    I was interested to see how the Apple car would have impacted the direct sales restrictions in certain states. Can you imagine going into an Apple store (that's been there for years) in a state that bans direct sales and have to be told that they can sell all the Apple products except the new Apple car, can't sell that. Gotta go down to "Crazy Eddie's Car Emporium" and negotiate for one.
     
  10. SR22pilot

    SR22pilot Member

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    I was hoping for this too. I thought that, along with Tesla, Apple and Google could redefine how cars are sold, generate a unified charging network that was massive, and speed up automotive innovation. It looks like I'm out of luck.
     
  11. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    That's precisely the dilemma Apple now faces. Where to go next for high margins. Manufacturing cars ain't it. Software and hardware for other manufacturers cars, maybe so. Cars as a service? Maybe.
     
  12. dauger

    dauger Member

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    #192 dauger, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    Seems relevant to cite that Apple reportedly is putting the car on hold, instead focusing on software in the car, after a tumultuous series of management blunders and reorganizations:

    How Apple Scaled Back Its Titanic Plan to Take on Detroit

    This development seems consistent with the constructive criticism of Apple's attempt in this thread, like how Apple's strength is software, and how much more difficult car part suppliers are to wrangle than electronics suppliers.

    I thought Apple's car could be Tesla's most interesting comparison, but alas the BEV market will just be slow-moving incumbents will look-at-me-too features; and then there's Tesla.

    This also makes me think of trimming a bit of my AAPL position because: where else can Apple really grow? (Apple, Inc., will do fine either way, of course, but Wall St punishes stocks without a growth story.)
     
  13. voyager

    voyager Member

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    No doubt, Steve Jobs would have succeeded in bringing an i-Car where his successor obviously did not. Vision always comes first. Tim Cook thought that by poaching away engineers from other companies like Tesla, something brilliant would materialize.
     
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  14. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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