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The Apple Car Keynote

Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 49

Michael Schmidt
Dec 8, 2016 · 10 min read

People are gathering on 2 year old Apple Campus 2. It’s 10 AM on January 27, 2020 – 13 years after the introduction of iPhone, the business that changed Apple forever.

Today, change is in the air again.

he world’s most valuable company has been rumored for years to introduce Apple Car, its entrance to the transportation industry, ripe for massive disruption.

Many conflicting stories are known about the project, „Titan“ it’s called, but astonishingly enough, no product details have been leaked up to this day.

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The beautiful new Auditorium inside Apple’s new campus will host today’s event.

Al Gore is here, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are here. All three have been advocates for change in the automotive industry for over decades, sharing the idea that more sustainable transportation can lead the way out of the climate crisis, and create new jobs. Their hope is that the private sector brings along this change, where the Trump administration fails.

Elon Musk was rumored to attend, but is nowhere to be seen.

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People enter the auditorium to the music of The Beatles’ „Baby You Can Drive My Car“.

Tim Cook enters the stage. (Applause)

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„Good morning! Today is a great day, and I’d like to start it by giving you a few updates.“

„Apple Pay just surpassed its 100 billionth transaction. That’s simply amazing! It completely changed how we pay for things.“ (Applause)

„Next up is Maps. We launched it 6 years ago and made it core to all our operating systems. Today I’m pleased to report that Apple Maps is the most used navigation tool in the world, with second place in far distance.“ (Loud cheers)

„Third, I’d like to talk about Apple Music and its first original show ‘Carpool Karaoke’. This has excelled all our expectations. Its fantastic episodes hit over 1 trillion views in just 2 years.“ (Applause) „And it won’t be the last hit: We will premiere 10 new original shows this year, and trust me they will be phenomenal!“ (Cheering)

„We will also bring ‘Top Gear’ back!“

(Surprised audience goes wild).

„Yes you may know this from Amazon Fire TV, but what can I say – they fired their contract and went with us!“ (Loud laughs)

„So these are my updates for you this morning.“

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„I would now like to talk about transformations.“

(Crowd goes silent)

„Apple has seen a number of transformations in its 40 year history. It started in a garage and the Macintosh transformed Apple into a global personal computer business.“

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„In the 2000s, iPod, iPhone and iPad transformed Apple into a mobile devices company, which eventually brought us Apple Watch.“ (Cheers)

„Today marks the start of another transformation of Apple.“

(Huge applause)

„We are going to make the ultimate mobile device.“

(Cheering, loud applause)

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„You know, Steve used to talk about Apple being at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts. That’s how we think of what we do, and exactly there is where the magic happens.“ (Laughter)

„Let’s look at this intersection for a moment.“

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„We not only think about the crossroad, but also the roads it connects.“

„There is tremendous change happening of what’s on our roads today.“

„Some of it was enabled by the smartphone revolution that we led with iPhone. Uber, Didi, Maps. This makes me proud.“ (Applause)

„But we thought we could contribute even more to the world of transportation.“

„If you look at today’s cars, for example, they look the same as they did for the last 100 years – even though so much is changing in the auto space. Their design did not catch up. I’m not even speaking of leading the way, which is what good design should do.“

„Look at today’s roads and you’ll find a huge challenge in maintenance and funding this maintenance. Bad roads affect the experience of travelling.“

„So we found ourselves in the situation where so much was possible with all the change happening, but we felt that current products weren’t making good use of that, and that the infrastructure also lagged behind.“

„Pretty much how we felt about phones and networks before iPhone.“ (Laughs, audience joins)

„So what do we do? Well, we got to know the industry, went to the drawing board, and reimagined how transportation should work from now on!“ (Huge applause)

„And I think we totally nailed it.“ (Applause keeps going)

„Today, Apple is entering the personal transportation industry with a revolutionary product!“

(Applause and cheers swell up)

„Today, Apple reinvents the car!“

(Audience going crazy)

The lights dim, and a typical Jony Ive video starts playing.

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„When you look at today’s cars very closely and ambitiously, you will find that so much has changed. Propulsion has changed from internal combustion to electric. Cars can drive on their own. People hire cars with just a gentle tap on their wrist.“

„But astonishingly enough, the actual design of cars has not changed much at all.“

„When we diminished all the unnecessary parts, and focused on the essential core of personal transportation, we came up with that beautiful, simple and pure concept that is a room on wheels.“

„It is the ultimate mobile device.“

„This is Apple Car.“

(Huge applause)

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Tim Cook is being driven on stage with Apple Car, to standing ovations.

He gets out through the car’s glass doors, and thanks Jony.

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“This is Apple Car.”

“It is the ultimate mobile device, and it is stunning.”

„It drives on its own…“ (car spins around its own axis)

„…and is an experience that is unprecedented.“

„Apple Car is different to any other car. It is a concept so new, but very simple to understand: it’s a room on wheels.“ (applause)

„There is no front or back, all four sides are the same length. The whole design is pure and simple.“

„This is a leapfrog product that we at Apple can not wait to use ourselves.“

„To tell you all about it, I’d like to invite Phil Schiller up to the stage. Phil?“ (applause)

Phil Schiller comes up.

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„Wow! Good morning!“ (Frenetic applause)

„This is amazing! I’m so excited to tell you all about Apple Car.“

„Apple Car is a smart room on smart wheels.“

„What does that even mean?“ (Laughs)

„Why is Apple Car a smart room? Let’s have a look.“

„First up, the design. As you can see it’s gorgeous. So simple and yet so stunning.“

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„It’s a perfect square, but of course with round edges.“

„Let me point something out here: The round edges of the square shape in Apple Car are in the exact same ratio as the app icons on your iPhones and iPads.“

„Isn’t that amazing?“ (Cheers)

„The design team has really outdone themselves with Apple Car, and the result is simply beautiful.“

„But really it’s the inside where the magic happens.“ (Laughter)

„This isn’t just a regular box, this is a beautiful and wicked smart room. It makes you feel cozy but is also so versatile like nothing you have seen before.“

„It’s made of a rigid base structure that brings safety but also super useful features. For example the columns in each corner are inductive charging stations, the ground breaking technology we pioneered with iPhone 8.“ (Applause)

„This means you just put your iPhone there and it will charge.“

„The columns also double as speakers, you can talk to Siri, and they have all the brains of Apple Car in them.“

„Let’s look at the floor. Yes the floor! This isn’t just a regular wood floor.“

„The floor is where your Apple Car will transform to whatever you need at the moment.“

„It surrects a table and seats, or a bed, or a cupboard to transport stuff.“ (Stunned audience)

„Cool, right?“ (Frenzy)

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„Next up, I’d like to talk to you about windows.“ (Laughs)

„Yes, windows.“

„Now, Apple Car’s windows are unlike any window you’ve seen. Trust me.“

„To the outside, the windows can change their transparency, dim to black when you want to.“

„But they also double as solar panels.“ (Uproar)

„This is breakthrough technology that Apple is first to adopt in mass scale. We bought every piece of those before others even knew about them.“ (Cheering applause)

„To the inside, these windows are even more special. They will double as displays and show you things that you don’t need an iPhone for.“

„Let’s say you drive in Apple Car – and let me just say it’s amazing – and you’d like to know sports results. You don’t need to pull out your iPhone or Apple Watch, just ask Siri and the results will show up on the window you’re looking at.“

„That’s the smartest windows ever!“

„Finally, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the unbelievable engineering that has gone into Apple Car. This stuff just makes me lose my mind. I’m happy I understand just a little bit of it.“ (Laughs)

„Seriously I don’t know how anyone could bend physics to this point. But obviously at Apple we can do that!“

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„I told you the wheels were smart. So, this is how smart they are: They’re omnidirectional, which means they can go in any direction!“ (Long applause)

„This means it’s easier for parking, takes less space, and makes turns super smooth.“

„But that’s not even the whole story! These wheels also have something we call smart suspension. What’s that?“

„It means that if you’re on a bumpy road, you feel like you’re flying over the bumps and not notice a thing.“ (Audience goes frenzy)

„Yes.“ (Applause goes on)

„You have to feel this to believe it, but it’s so cool!“ (Long cheers)

„I think it’s time for a demo.“

Phil Schiller uses his Apple Watch to make Apple Car drive over to him. It doesn’t need to turn around, it simply adjusts its wheels and goes his direction. The doors open and he gets inside. A camera guy gets in as well. A wooden table and a wooden chair is waiting. He sits down. Phil tells Siri to go slowly a few meters and pull up Twitter. Phil’s timeline appears on the window he looks at as the car moves. He says „tweet ‘first ride in Apple Car’“ and Siri sends it off.

The car stops and Phil gets out through a different door than he stepped in. He goes on:

„This doesn’t even cover 1% of how cool Apple Car is. You will just have to check it out yourself.“ (applause)

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„You know Apple is devoted to making the greatest products on earth. We’re also good in teaming up with smart people to help with that.“

„For Apple Car we have a partner who built a strong charging network throughout the world: Tesla.“ (huge cheers)

„Apple Car features one of the largest battery packs in the industry, and this battery needs to be charged. This will be done with the solar panels on the roof of Apple Car, and using the solar windows. But for fast charging, Apple Car can also go to one of Tesla’s many Superchargers.“ (applause)

„We’re so proud of Apple Car, we made a little video.“

Video runs. Applause.

„So when can you get your hands on Apple Car?“

„Tim will tell you more about that. Tim?“

They hand off.

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Tim:

„Isn’t it great?“

„It makes me so proud. I think it’s the most amazing thing we ever did.“

„We wanted to introduce Apple Car today, because to be honest we couldn’t wait any longer.“ (Laughter)

„As with any new car, it needs to go through regulatory approvals. This takes some time, but we will launch Apple Car in 6 months – on June 29.“ (Applause)

„On June 29, Apple Car will launch in the US and in China.“

(huge cheers)

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„Later this summer, it will come to Europe.“

„There will be 2 options of how to use Apple Car: Rent on demand for $90/month on Uber or Didi, or with the Upgrade Program you know from iPhone for $900/month. In any case, you will always get the latest Apple Car available.“ (Applause)

„So, usually at this point, we have a hands-on area for our new products. But this time, I’d like to invite you to drive around campus with Apple Car.“ (Huge applause)

„We have a few of them waiting outside and I’m so excited to see you check them out.“

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„What you have seen today is Apple at it’s finest. Only Apple can do what we did today. We enter new industries when we think we can make a change.

With Apple Car we know we have another product that will change the world.“

(applause)

„I’d like for everyone from Apple here today who worked so hard on this to stand up. Give them a round of applause!“ (major cheers)

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„Thanks for coming this morning!“ (Standing ovations)

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End of event.

Thoughts on Apple Car

Conceptualizations on the future car, a.o.

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. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

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. shared by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, Apple/Google/Dropbox designer Ryhan Hassan, Lyft and Snap VC investor Alex Giannikoulis, Wristly founder Bernard Desarnauts, and CaminaLab/Drivania/Shotl founder Gerard Martret.

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