iCar: A new market penetration from Apple?


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It’s been a few years that companies, newspapers and customers have been speculating around the idea of Apple emerging in the automobile industry by launching their first iCar. Even during the times when Steve Jobs was under the command of Apple, the rumours of Apple wanting to build it’s first car was on-going.  In 2012, Apple board member and J. Crew Group CEO Mickey Drexler told Paul Goldberger that Steve Jobs had a car on Apple’s radar (Business Insider, 2015). More specifically, Drexler had stated that if Steve Jobs was to be still alive, he was going to design the first iCar. Now, these speculations seem to have reached the surface to a possible reality.

On Monday the 21st, according to a Wall Street Journal report, it was stated that Apple has planned to launch their first very electric vehicle known as the iCar, with a set-date on 2019. This news comes on the heels of a reported meeting between a member the company’s senior council with California DMV officials last week to discuss the details of self-driving cars. Though the Cupertino-based company might be exploring autonomous cars, initial Apple electric vehicles wouldn’t be self-driving, the Journal report says. Instead, that technology would be saved for a later rollout (Mashable, 2015).

Other report suggest that apple is developing an electric iCar to go under competition against Tesla. Reports suggest that Apple is under negotiations with BMW since August, and that negotiations are still on-going (L; Painter, 2015).

Known as “project Titan” within the environment of Apple for over a year now, the American firm has reportedly been given permission to triple the size of its 600 person car team after meeting with officials in California. Apple is understood to have been on a recruitment drive to help speed its car project along, hiring big hitters from automobile firms like Chrysler (Mirror, 2015). According to an Italian automobile online-journal, Apple has been shopping for professionals in the industry from other automotive firms such as Mercededs, Tesla and Volkswagen. Additionally, it appears they have also hired a famous university researcher that studies autonomous driving (Omniauto, 2015).

It’s still a question whether project Titan will come to light in 2019, or whether it will be finished after all. Apple has always been the leader in leaving customers with rumours, and this speculation becoming a semi-announcement can as well be and always be just a rumour. No one still knows how the iCar will look like (the picture above is a predictive design), and what will be Apple’s major competitor’s -such as Samsungs- move will be, but Google has been already in the works with building an autonomous vehicle. If Apple will join the battle in the automobile industry, it will be interesting to see how the other car companies will react to it, and what will happen to the market share.

In my own very opinion, I believe that if the iCar will surface in 2019, a customer will have to possess other Apple devices to ensure it’s 100% function given the rise of iCloud and other Apple tech related applications.

What’s your thoughts on the iCar? Would you want one or would it become to Tech?

Sources:
http://www.omniauto.it/magazine/32887/apple-icar-pronta-nel-2019

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/apple-icar-could-hit-streets-6489200

http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apple/will-apple-make-icar-project-titan-rumour-roundup-bmw-3425394/

http://mashable.com/2015/09/21/apple-car-2019-launch-date/#VVarQeUDr8qb

http://uk.businessinsider.com/mickey-drexler-steve-jobs-was-gonna-design-an-icar-2015-2?r=US&IR=T

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One response to “iCar: A new market penetration from Apple?”

  1. glenndejong says :

    First of all, thanks for your post. It is a good collection of all the rumours and information that came out recently and provides a nice overview. In my opinion, it will be a remarkable achievement if Apple is able to market a fully working “iCar” in 2019. Especially, considering the fact it normally takes between six and eight years to fully develop a car from scratch (and three to four years for a major facelift). Apple is new to the industry, has no experience in creating safe, reliable, and efficient cars. In addition, Apple computers and iPhones are really different from vehicles in various aspects. But, they have an enormous amount of capital available to invest in such resource demanding projects which can speed up the development tremendously. It is even rumoured that around 1700 R&D engineers are currently working on the “iCar”. However, I stick to my opinion that providing a high quality fully working (self-driving) car will be tough in the timespan the media is currently talking about. It might be possible, but will the quality be at a level comparable to Apple’s current product portfolio? This is especially important as expectations are high at the moment.

    I do agree with your point that a customer will have to possess other Apple devices to make 100% use of all functions. However, if Apple would like to succeed in the automotive industry they should do more and be able to offer technology which will redefine the way we transport us. In my opinion, for now we should aim more in the direction of an in-car system (or maybe even a full interior) designed by Apple which is able to fully entertain and relax us while guiding us towards our destination. As soon as other companies start marketing their autonomous cars this system can be integrated. I have to remark that traditional manufacturer are currently not willing to become the new Foxconn of the automotive industry, which entails they will provide the hardware and Apple the software (NYTimes, 2015), but maybe this will change in the future. But as they do succeed, let’s hope Apple will introduce an additional form of transportation in 2020-2025 which will make travelling (even) more enjoyable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/automobiles/apples-auto-inroads-create-a-buzz-at-frankfurt-motor-show.html?_r=0
    http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2015/08/14/no-apples-project-titan-wasnt-confirmed-to-be-a-self-driving-car/
    http://www.informationweek.com/it-life/apple-project-titan-electric-car-may-arrive-by-2019/d/d-id/1322280

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