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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Apple CarPlay (2015) - just a dashboard UI or a Trojan horse for Apple Car (2020) ?

Communication, entertainment and transportation are essential functions in human life (also see my earlier blog: http://leonoudejans.blogspot.nl/2015/02/google-our-new-digital-butler.html). Since 2012 Google has openly entered the Automotive market with its Google (driverless) Car (also see my earlier blog: http://leonoudejans.blogspot.nl/2015/01/google-future-apple-in-automotive.html).

There has been a lot of industry rumour (www.autoblog.com/2015/02/20/apple-car-2020/) since my earlier blogs that Apple is working on an electric car as they are - allegedly - hiring people from Tesla and a car battery maker. Of course everything about this so called Project Titan is entirely a rumour at this point and Apple isn't confirming anything. As usual as Apple thrives on such rumours.

Interestingly, Apple announced its in-dash software product CarPlay early March 2015. "Now every major car brand has committed to delivering CarPlay," Apple CEO Tim Cook said, noting that 40 models will ship with the software this year. Unlike the almost invariably out-of-date software of most in-car entertainment systems, Apple's CarPlay - and Android Auto, Google's competitor - are designed in-house by mobile tech experts. Allowing Apple and Google to design our dashboard software promises a smoother, more familiar experience that's as familiar as your smartphone's screen. Cook didn't go into specifics about which manufacturers have signed on for Apple CarPlay, but it sounds like the software will be nearly ubiquitous in new cars. We already know that Ferrari and Mercedes Benz feature the software, as does the soon to be released Volvo XC90. Source: http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/news/a25219/tim-cook-apple-carplay-coming-to-every-major-car-brand/

The article above suggests that Apple CarPlay (2015) is merely a modern, smooth User Interface (UI) that will help selling cars to customers. Given the industry rumour that Apple is working on an electric car, Apple CarPlay is also likely to be a Trojan horse in the Automotive industry. Like Apple TV (an interface for future TV screens?), Apple Pay (banking) and Apple Watch (interface for healthcare?). Also it may make up for some lost time in comparison with the Google Car (2012).

While writing this blog I noticed a curious March 10 hit in my searches: Apple's shareholders really want Tim Cook to buy Tesla (http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/10/8185517/apple-shareholder-meeting-tesla-acquisition-elon-musk-carplay). Based on the article Mr Cook did his very best to dodge the questions on Apple CarPlay, Apple Car and Tesla with flair and humour. Unlike Google or Microsoft, Apple is not known for huge acquisitions, or big names, or for acquisitions outside its primary activities. Apple's only huge purchase (NeXT, 1997) was to bring back Steve Jobs.
Source: http://comparisons.financesonline.com/comparison-of-top-tech-company-acquisitions/

Apple once reshaped telecommunication through a shift in dominance and margins from telecom operators to device manufacturers. I suppose Apple intends to reshape Automotive from low margin, high volume, nice-to-have lookalikes into excessive margin, medium volume, must-have lifestyle products. For some (future) user experience please refer to: http://blog.caranddriver.com/dispatch-from-the-future-driving-the-2020-apple-car/
  
Why drive a car when you can drive an Apple?