»They are.«

Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 28

Michael Schmidt
May 5, 2016 · 3 min read

John Gruber, who unprecedentedly gaines more and more exclusive access to Apple executives like Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue or Craig Federighi, reacts to a NYT piece suggesting the company should take more risks:

»I know The New York Times can’t say that it’s certain that Apple is working on a car, but I can.

They are.«

Two little words that may have more meaning than it seems. In the light of media outlets asking for more public endeavours after the first growth deceleration in 13 years, it comes apparent that Apple is currently taking its biggest risk yet: Developing a product that is larger, more complicated and will live in environments the company has no experience in – all of it in secret.

The NYT opens with the following lines:

Apple is running out of parking spaces.

If you drop by its Infinite Loop headquarters, you will find the place stretched beyond capacity. Even the valets, who double and triple-park the Teslas and Porsches that now flock to the world’s most valuable company, have given up finding free spots.

This is interesting. First, it shows that the organisation and staff is growing. More people, more cars.

It also suggests that Apple is currently experiencing first hand the shortages and negative effects of individual transportation as we know it. (Something unusual for America)

They learn subjectively about the current downsides of cars – as they did with phones. They hated their phones and wanted to build a better one.

Do they hate cars?

To answer that, let’s look at Apple Watch. Jony Ive explained in a number of interviews, that different to the phone, they started with admiration for their wristwatches.

And that may be true for cars as well: Eddy Cue is on Ferrari’s board of directors, Jony Ive owns a Bentley among other cars, and Steve Jobs famously drove his plate-free Mercedes.

But the NYT asks:

Can the company build the next great platform in computing, as it did the last one?

The funny thing is: They already did. For the few things we consider a „digital car function“ today, Apple has everything in place – and Ive’s favourite car brand already makes use of it:

But what Apple will do with the car is to create a new platform that is not about personal computing, but autonomous transport.

And this will also solve the parking space issue.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, through the lens of Apple.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. read by Apple/VW/GM/Continental executives, Apple/Google/Dropbox/Microsoft/Nokia designers, WSJ/CNBC and AI analysts, Lyft/Snap investors, Medium staff writers, academics from HBS/WMG/CIID, and many mobility VCs/CEOs/founders.

Michael Schmidt

Written by

Director Consulting at Virtual Identity. I spent a decade on automotive brands in digital, and blog about #strategy, the #ClimateCrisis, and #AppleCar.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o. read by Apple/VW/GM/Continental executives, Apple/Google/Dropbox/Microsoft/Nokia designers, WSJ/CNBC and AI analysts, Lyft/Snap investors, Medium staff writers, academics from HBS/WMG/CIID, and many mobility VCs/CEOs/founders.

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