Can you guess which car company is being described with the following words?
[Its] strengths lie in taking designs by Ive’s team, building them at high quality and low cost and selling them at a premium. Where it succeeds best is integrating the software that manages how customers use those products to keep them satisfied.
That’s a description any carmaker would strive to achieve, yet none have truly gotten there.
The statement above describes Apple, the computer company that brought us home computing, portable music, smart phones, and soon, cars.
Rumors of an Apple car have been swirling for years. Before Steve Jobs died, he made it clear that he wanted to develop some kind of automobile and change the auto industry like he changed the computer industry.
In order to get into the auto business, Apple would have to introduce something revolutionary either in technology or brand perception. A possible source for that innovation? China.
A Chery, Geely or Great Wall vehicle imported from China would have to overcome a wariness by American consumers due to its manufacturing source that an Apple iCar would not. If Apple built in China, it could beat the industry on design, technology and software while still selling the product at Apple-like margins.
So there you go. It is possible that Apple could take everything it learned in building electronics and apply those principles to cars.
Or it could just buy an existing car company.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was indeed working on its own electric car. It’s also been reported that Cupertino has about a thousand engineers dedicated to working on a top-secret car project.
Of course, rumors have come and gone before, but this time the evidence truly points to something car-related going on over at Apple. Will it be U.S.-designed and Chinese-built electric cars? Will it be an Apple iCar? Will it be Apple gaining ownership of Tesla?
Only a couple of people know at this point, but whatever happens, it’s bound to be exciting and, potentially, game changing.
Would you buy a car from Apple?