Jean-Louis Gassée looks at Apple Car from both sides

"Ultimately, I’m skeptical… and that makes me uncomfortable."

From Gassée's "Apple Car: Bad Idea After All" posted in today's Monday Note:

My take: A story worth reading in full by a friend-of-the-blog through which strong, conflicted feelings occasionally break through. For example:

What happens when car software has a runtime glitch? Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess lost his job because of EV software problems at the Cariad software operation. “But this never happens at Apple!” you’ll object. Tell that to the esteemed Scott Forstall, or the “Titan” principals who have come and gone during the project’s eight-year history, a revolving door phenomenon that saps confidence in the company’s ability to make the project converge towards a state of true productization.


  1. Alan Trerise said:
    CarPlay is Apple’s put in the car market.

    September 26, 2022
    • Miguel Ancira said:
      Agree completely. I did not see where they were going, and now I wonder what is next…

      September 26, 2022
  2. Christopher McManus said:
    “Focus means saying no to the hundred other good ideas. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. You have to pick carefully.” – Steve Jobs

    September 26, 2022
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    To watch NFL Sunday free all you need is an AppleID.

    In 2021 worldwide sales of automobiles was 79.1 million. If all Apple introduces into the automobile industry is CarPlay+ it has a potential market of 79 million AppleIDs (less existing IDs) to address PER YEAR, with market saturation achieved in six years.

    You estimate the ApplePlay revenue per vehicle, then multiply that by your estimate of Apple’s penetration of new automobiles per year. Then add in switcher revenue from Macs, iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, et al. The sum is large enough to be a separate line item on Apple’s Income statement.

    On top of all that is the number of car shoppers who won’t buy a brand that does not have CarPlay. How many of those will take a hard look at an Apple Car? And then there is the existing cache of it being an APPLE product. I think an Apple Car will immediately join the ranks of Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Infiniti, Lexus et al as a prestige car.

    If Apple introduces an actual car I expect it to be a revenue generating success (however you measure success).

    September 26, 2022
  4. Aaron Belich said:
    The continued refinement of CarPlay, let alone the hardware in our phones that run it, or otherwise are being upgraded to better take over the “live” systems is the result of Project Titan. Think how Apple usurped x86 with Rosetta 2.0 and M1… think they won’t be able to emulate the auto industry’s chips real-time?

    How many car manufacturers no longer need to build a Starlink/OnStar GPS / cellular tracking system into their vehicles because… Apple already does everything related to it on their devices.

    The market has voted. The question is, where’s the market going? Not to individual iterations that lose functionality the moment to leave the vehicle.

    September 26, 2022
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Not to individual iterations that lose functionality the moment to leave the vehicle.

      Upvoted the above. Great observation Aaron.

      September 26, 2022
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    Aaron, your comment got me to thinking about iPhone 14’s Crash Detection and Sat Link.

    With iPhone you have to point your handset directly at the satellite because of power limitations.

    An automobile has no such power limitations

    I see a future CarPlay feature upgrade (on new vehicles of course).

    September 26, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      Well…. There are the power limitations associated with FCC regulations. So there’s no limit on the power that could be put into the radio, but there are restrictions on radiated power on various radio bands.

      September 26, 2022

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