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What is Apple's killer concept for cars going to be?

thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,290
1,979
indeterminate
Apple have only released two truly innovative products the iPod and iPhone (okay that's going to be challenged)
The other products have either been extensions of this technology (eg iPad) or generally well made if expensive equipment.

Apple are also responsible for introducing the concept of "apps" to the world as low$ chargeable games/utilities etc.
(actually I think this is one of the most startling of concepts especially as I dont think its success was ever predicted even by Apple themselves)

They are also undoubtedly the smartest marketing company in the world.

Apple sure aren't heading into the automotive market as an also ran, and inevitably their products will command a substantial premium.
So what is Apple's killer concept for cars going to be?

UI - well they could improve on this but really it is incremental these days with current tech

Power source - anything they do will have to be a ZEV; batteries are obvious but they have been rumoured strongly to be looking at fuel cells.
On a micro scale these could work, but Hydrogen deployment to the masses for automotive is a fanciful at the moment

Construction - BMW and others already using advanced composites so limited gains here

How about city vehicles/pods summoned from your iPhone that link up into self driving chains (suspect Google is looking at this too) and this kind of PRT is long overdue?
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,342
14,008
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I find it extremely unlikely that Apple will be able to develop and launch an autonomous car by 2019, or even 2021. They are newcomers to that game, it is an incredibly challenging problem, and you can be sure that Google is not going to help them. Google has been working on autonomous driving for years and they are a long ways from bringing a product to market.
So the Apple car will probably have some driver assist features, but it is going to require a driver, in my opinion.
I think Apple is just going to make a far better EV than almost any other company, with the likely exception of Tesla. And I suspect that Apple is not going to start put at the high end of the car market, they will start with a more mass market car.
The iPhone was a better smartphone, it was not the first smartphone. The iPod was a better music player, not the first one on the market.
 
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voyager

Member
Apr 28, 2009
958
490
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Something that's a combo of all?

3%2Bfields%2Bcombined%2B%25281%2529.jpg
 

tftf

Member
Sep 19, 2013
811
-61
Hop Sing Laundry
Apple have only released two truly innovative products the iPod and iPhone (okay that's going to be challenged)
The other products have either been extensions of this technology (eg iPad)

Is this going to be challenged? Yes :)

A short chronology, and I certainly missed some milestones:

Apple II and VisiCalc, arguably the first mainstream "home computer" and the first killer app for such affordable personal computers
Lisa/Mac and birth of GUI for the masses
Laserwriter and birth of DTP
NeXT computer and NeXT OS (since most people involved came from Apple and then moved back to Apple), birth of the WWW on a NeXT machine
Newton PDA (even if it flopped commercially like NeXT, way ahead of its time)
iMac AIO computer, birth of the current design language under Jony Ive, design becoming an important factor in PC/CE buying decisions (and design is also very important for emotional objects like higher-end cars)
...

Do these accomplishments in the CE and PC industry mean Apple can magically repeat the same in the car industry? Certainly not, but looking at the experts Apple started hiring in recent months (batteries, autonomous driving, car design and mechanics...) it looks they will give it a serious try. $200bn in the bank don't hurt either.

If Apple can create something similar in the personal mobility space (not just the "naked" car hardware, but maybe a complete "transport as a service" solution or infrastructure on a global scale) this could have a large impact in the car sector over the next decade(s), especially once - gradually more and more -autonomous and connected vehicles gain traction.

Too early to tell at this point, but Apple can put massive financial resources to work once it decides to enter a new venture/sector.

Think about it: Very long-term, Apple could create a "car" that you can neither buy nor drive (from a consumers' perspective, in case Apple decides the ecosystem is operated by third parties or by Apple).

Does this make sense? The answer of course is the blue box area posted by voyager above.

Mission accomplished. Departed.
 
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voyager

Member
Apr 28, 2009
958
490
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Think about it. Today's automotive outsiders can be characterized as follows:
- Google two-seater pods: promising alternative to public transportation for short trips; yet devoid of any fun, humor and humanity.
- Tesla: proverbial owners cars, yet too big and heavy to be considered flexible and maneuverable transport modes in modern traffic
- Uber: revolves around trip services and usage efficiency, no matter the car.

Apple:?
 
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SR22pilot

Member
Jun 16, 2014
720
1,112
Georgia
The Apple car will be a BEV. That is why they hired the former CTO of A123. For its target market it will carry a premium price but have premium fit and finish. The car won't be sold as a geeky vehicle or an environmentalist car but rather as a great car. There were tablets before the iPad but the iPad was easy to use. There were smartphones before the iPhone. I owned several. The iPhone was easy for the average person to use. I know people who went through many MP3 players only to settle on the iPod because it was easier to use and had superior build quality. Apple has great marketing but it isn't all just marketing. They have some good products too.
 

SR22pilot

Member
Jun 16, 2014
720
1,112
Georgia
Shouldn't they hire or at least work together with some posh car brand then, to have them do the perfect fit and finish? Car making - it is still a craft.

$200B can buy you a lot of craft. :) Apple actually knows a lot about manufacturing although not on the size of a car. While others manufacture their products it is Apple who defines a lot of the manufacturing process. There are very few products with the sales numbers to compete with smartphones. Cars are one of those. Apple is under pressure to find ways to grow the company and that can be difficult. Just look at the original Apple TV. People have called it a failure because it was ONLY making $1B a year.
 

S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,702
3,646
AB
$200B can buy you a lot of craft. :) Apple actually knows a lot about manufacturing although not on the size of a car. While others manufacture their products it is Apple who defines a lot of the manufacturing process. There are very few products with the sales numbers to compete with smartphones. Cars are one of those. Apple is under pressure to find ways to grow the company and that can be difficult. Just look at the original Apple TV. People have called it a failure because it was ONLY making $1B a year.
I submit to you that that's not really true. Apple doesn't do manufacturing. It outsources that to Foxconnn, who uses slave labour.

I think that they'll do the same thing with the car. They'll find some Chinese manufacturer and have them manufacture the car.
 

SR22pilot

Member
Jun 16, 2014
720
1,112
Georgia
I submit to you that that's not really true. Apple doesn't do manufacturing. It outsources that to Foxconnn, who uses slave labour.

I think that they'll do the same thing with the car. They'll find some Chinese manufacturer and have them manufacture the car.

Look at some of the videos on Apple Watch. There is a great site where a metallurgist goes through what is being shown. Apple contracts this out but Apple defines the process. Apple defines the alloy and how it is produced. Working with Apple is very different from working with most people where you get a drawing of a circuit board and are told "make this." Apple will have (I think they already have) experienced auto manufacturing people to define and supervise how their car is made.
 

voyager

Member
Apr 28, 2009
958
490
Amsterdam, Netherlands
I agree with you, Spidy, BMW runs ahead of the pack. If only it would work together with Google and would have a Car2Go program like Daimler... Apple has been said to be very interested in the i3.

“We do not plan to become the Foxconn of Apple,” Mr. Zetsche said, referring to the Taiwanese-owned company that manufactures iPhones in China. Zetsche is Daimler's CEO.

Evidently, talks have been held between car makers and Apple and Google.
Log In - The New York Times
 
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wdolson

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,737
10,546
Clark Co, WA
Last I heard Apple had lost the head of their car program and the whole thing seemed to be in doubt. Maybe that was a false rumor?

We'll see what happens.
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
Maybe time to bump this old tread up ?
Click bait / Fake or real ?

Having read the article, it's disappointing click bait.

Almost all of it is speculative, and the focus is on apps and integration with other devices/services. There's nothing about charging or practical use. All of this underscores that journalists are not designers. Why Motor Trend decided to publish this nonsense is beyond me, because it only hurts their credibility IMO.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,027
Brea, Orange County
People always bring up the examples of when Apple had some brilliant products introduced. But I don't see anything in the recent years. Everything since the iPhone introduction has been just an update and more recently mostly an 'me too' kind of thing. Apple Watch, Apple Pay, air drop, iPad Pro are all things that others made successful and Apple then did their version of it.
Apple is notorious for coming up with closed off standards. They patent every little detail to block competition. The last thing we need is yet another charge connector type. We need to make EV adoption easier.

I honestly could not care less about the Apple car. I would never buy it unless Apple starts to play ball which I cannot see happening based on their history.
 

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