In today’s world an Apple development team is taking care of a key task that has caused a car industry shockwave. Their objective? To explore the feasibility of Apple launching an iCar, potentially shaking up an entrenched market in just the same means as the iPod and iPhone transformed digital music players and smart phones. Only a small circle of insiders know what’s happening inside the Silicon Valley skunkworks, one which’s physically separate from Apple’s Cupertino campus, reported the financial Times as it broke the story. The latter, incidentally, is Apple’s codename for the task, based on the Wall Street Journal. But conversing with industry watchers and car bosses, CAR has pieced together probably the most detailed dossier yet. Having banked $19.1 billion from its operations in the last quarter alone, Apple has the war chest to attack the car industry. Wall Street analysts Sanford Bernstein estimate car industry annual revenues are $1.1 trillion, significantly more than double that of the saturated smartphone market and a tempting target for California’s electronic devices Titan. Apple already has a toe in the water with Car Play, an interface which allows you to make use of your iPhone’s navigation, infotainment and phone functions with Siri voice control (identify p36). The next approach would be to extend that in-car presence with an increase of effective functionality, location solutions, an automotive App store and possibly bespoke Apple hardware, although this may necessitate deeper alliances with car manufacturers.
They’re natural fearful of ceding sovereignty for the cockpit and customer’s precious data to a 3rd party. But the best step would be for Apple to design and develop a unique iCar. Toni Sacconaghi, who scrutinies Apple as part of his IT hardware beat for Sanford Bernstein, says it’s apparent the iCar will be an advanced, clean-sheet design. ‘It would almost definitely be electric and extremely most likely fully autonomous,’ he states. Certainly one of his ambitions would be to create a learning car, which wouldn’t require controls because it could monitor your behavior and routines, and pre-empt environment control, chair heating and navigation preferences consequently. That kind of bold reasoning would help Apple challenge the incumbents. Apple is reported to have been interviewing and recruiting auto industry professionals. Johann Jungwirth, who was CEO of Mercedes r&d North America and Benz’s point man with the Silicon Valley tech companies, is known to have jumped ship to Apple. ‘It’s a race between your automotive industry on a single side, and Google and Apple on who harvests the advantage from connected vehicles,’ states Wolfgang Ziebart, Jaguar Land Rover’s technology development chief. BMW’s board traveled to the US west shore in belated 2014, with Apple CEO Tim Cook returning the compliment with a Munich check out early this 12 months. Sources say BMW, already the automotive leader in connectivity and information generation, gleaned insights into hastening software development, with Apple fact-finding about the complex scale and timeframe of car development. Joint car ventures had been talked about, including a power bubblecarwitha60mphtopspeed,and a radically modified, second-generation’i3’spin-oﬀ with a unique exterior and interior design. ‘Both of them have established their own cars: well, Apple didn’t formally announce it however it’s taking place. ‘The automotive industry is not afraid of these making a superior car – that won’t take place. But we fear those companies disrupting the business enterprise model, with the industry just left with manufacturing hardware, and the advantage of connectivity harvested by somebody else.’ Apple and also the big car companies have been chatting for years, with a strong connection forged with BMW, manufacturers of this advanced level i3 and i8 electrified cars. Cost and complexity, such as today’s carbon fiber construction, will be pared back, and electric range, power and volume would increase. Magna’s Austrian factory, which builds two Mini variants,was mooted as a production facility, with Apple administrator spaying the plant a call. But the concept – an iCar engineered by BMW,orani3withApplefunctionality inside – has been shelved.