Apple's revived Car - service only?


#1

G’day,

After seemingly going cold on the idea with around 1,000 staff laid off, MacRumours recently noted that Apple have re-hired their former head of hardware, now assigning him to “Project Titan” - Apple’s “Car” project.

What has also just been suggested by a market analyst is that Apple’s car will enter the marketplace circa 2023-5, and as such will also begin servicing customers needing finance for these cars - a huge market for Apple to add to its revenue streams.

Reading the article - and perhaps purely due to a lil bit of dyslexia - my brain saw the words “service” and “Apple Car” and envisioned a different headline:

Apple to create car fleet to service subscribers.

Imagine paying a monthly fee to Apple, and in return one of their self drive cars turns up at your house every morning to take you to work, take you to lunch, take you home again, etc etc.

I know I poo-pooed the idea recently - but I was more picturing public transport in that regard… In the case of a “subscription” - I think for a start you’d be less likely to damage the vehicle as you would be more readily identifiable, but also, and sorry to lower socio economic people (err - that’s me too) - but if paying a subscription to Apple for a car service, I’m thinking you’d need a few pretty pennies for the privilege, which would likely limit the “hooligan antics”.

(Sorry, I know even rich people can be assholes.)

Given Apple’s push toward services, I think this model fits better with their current MO…


#2

I could sure see it, especially for people who see cars as appliances. I do not, I’ve spent a good deal of time as automotive journalist. That said, I am increasingly disappointed in Apple. It just isn’t the company I once fell in love with. I don’t mind subscription services which complement Apple hardware, and obviously I love macOS but I always understood Apple, especially under Jobs, to be a hardware company. It feels like with each year we get further and further from Apple as a hardware company and closer and closer to Apple as a conglomo, slapping the Apple logo on anything and everything as long as it looks Ivesian enough and makes money.


#3

Essentially Uber - but a subscription model rather than pay-as-you-go.


#4

@kionon - I too lament the days of Apple being hardware / software centric, however I totally believe that Jobs was whole-heartedly in favour of the App Store, especially once it proved to be such a money spinner.

@AVC - yep, exactly. Pay for the privilege of knowing you will have a vehicle in attendance at your location either pre-planned (ie the whole to-from work trips) or adhoc within certain time frames. The infrastructure for this would of course be big - lot of cars requried - but just as with Apple Pay - it would be rolled out in stages, and pricing could no doubt be set so as to keep demand / supply in check. “Siri” could see if you are in fact not at work on a particular day and cancel the standard return trip, etc etc.


#5

Oh, I agree. But I think Jobs also saw the App Store as a complement to his hardware.


#6

The more I see of this kind of development, the more disillusioned I become with Apple. Its just not what it was. It cannot be all things to all people and should not even be trying (well, all things to all people with income above a certain level). I’m glad I will be long gone (as in D.E.D dead) by the time it comes crashing down… and it will… its just a matter of time. DOOM!


#7

Flashbacks to the 90s there when people were forecasting the impending doom of Apple.


#8

I want to be clear. I don’t think Apple is doomed. I never said that. I said Apple is becoming Conglomo.

Apple is the Navy, and soon to be the entire multi-faceted military industrial complex. Apple isn’t the pirate anymore and hasn’t been for a good, long while.

The new pirates are Hackintosh and Linux mods, especially when combined with case mods that end up producing Ivesian design but without being locked into Apple.


#9

You said doom :wink:


#10

#11

Off-topic brag-time, Gir’s voice actor is a friend of mine and has been since about 1997/1998. He was not a professional VA, and when I first met him, he was a somewhat unknown artist. …but he was old friends with Zim’s creator and tada animation history.


#12

No, I said that, and I was joking. I’m disillusioned, but I don’t think its going to go down the path it was on before they called Steve Jobs back to rescue it.


#13

If/when Apple’s car venture rolls into production (geddit, geddit), it will either bring the company close to failure, or be the next market killer much as the iPhone was to that market. And if it happens, I really could see Apple becoming the Taco Bell of Demolition Man. They will be everywhere, everything to “all” people.

Is that a good thing? I cannot tell.

When the company is already worth more than 90% of the world’s individual countries (ie Apple is worth almost 2 Swedens), it really only is a matter of time before they stop making things and start being a major player in global politics - beyond what they already are. Maybe Apple becomes the force that pushes the world toward full globalisation…

(Of course, that potentially pushes up the living standards of the global population, and in the process increases the costs of producing Apple hardware (as they can no longer pay low wages to lower socio economic communities to mass produce their goods - Or can they… ((Just ask Jetstar, and many other companies…)) )


#14

This is not the future liberals want.


#15

Loved the show was gutted when it was cancelled but have heard that there is a “made tfor TV” movie coming out soon… but that may just be rumour


#16

Apple very rarely goes into losing businesses. If Apple makes a car it will be because they want to go directly at Tesla and high end electric cars.


#17

Oh whoops! I got my “k” people mixed up - sorry!!


#18

That’s a rather scary thought. Like Hubert Farnsworth “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” levels of scary.

The concept of cars as a service, personally speaking, it does nothing for me. Most “as a service” concepts don’t. I’m very much the “tweak it, hack it, break it, fix it, own it” type, maintaining my own equipment and tools, making my own solutions, backing up my own data, while listening to outright purchased and locally stored music. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to relinquish that much control over the resources that I use in life, nor can I see any benefit in doing so, at least not from atop this soapbox I’m so often standing on these days.


#19

@iMic - Love soapboxes myself :slight_smile:

Certainly in the short term auto-drive cars will be a personal possession, but I think long term they will become ubiquitous to the point of no longer being private. Once the majority of cars on the road are using AI, reducing the road toll exponentially, non-AI cars will become major hazards. As we are now on the cusp of this tech that sci-fi first introduced to me about 3 decades ago, I really do see the end of humans driving vehicles, and at that point ownership of vehicles will almost be a pointless exercise.

Yes, the rich will want their own, but the rest of us will just use the level of service that we can afford - ie as per my previous comment on this concept - some of us will be using the large self driving public transport vehicles that smell of piss and has cracked windows and graffiti… but those of us with a bit more money will be using a subscription service of taxi-like self drive vehicles that just smell vaguely of cigarettes and car deoderiser. Then, if you actually want a car that’s genuinely clean and well maintained you go for the likes of Apple.

If someone like Apple jumped on this concept, the transition would occur a lot sooner.


#20

Better start saving then, driving’s becoming a passion of mine. May have to look into track cars and a CAMS license.

I’ve found it really difficult to trust Apple as a company these days (stopped buying their products some time ago, but still have to maintain the bloody things) so hopefully if this transition does end up being viable, there’s at least some serious competition and a variety of options in this space.