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What Will it Take for Apple's Next Big Thing to be a Car?

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bronorb
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Gold
Re: don't do it
bronorb   2/28/2015 11:54:48 AM
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When the first iPods came out my 13 year-old daughter begged for one for X-mas so we got one for her. Every once in a while it would just quit working. I was told to hold the button down and then rap the thing against a table to get it working again. It worked. There was some BS explanation about how this "reset" method was necessary because of how well it was designed. Huh?!?

So if your Apple Car doesn't start, don't be surprised if the owner's manual tells you to hold the Start button in for 10 seconds and then walk to the front of the car and kick the bumper.

Seriously, I would not expect Apple to build an EV better than anyone else. You will just have scores of Apple Fans lining up and wetting themselves 48 hours before the big release. Hype never lives up to reality.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
Re: don't do it
bobjengr   2/28/2015 11:23:18 AM
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Naperlou--I agree with you completely on this one. With $178 Billion "in the bank", returning some of that money to their investors should be considered number one (1) on their list of "things to do".  Apple is a remarkably innovative company and has made history with their contribution to the electronics industry and technology in general.  As Charles has stated, the auto industry is tough with many many challenges.  During my university years, I had a materials professor, Dr. C.R. Brooks, who told us: "never play the other man's games."  Stick with what you know.  Apple could diversify into electronic components for the automotive industry thereby lessening their risk and "testing the market".  

motoragent
User Rank
Silver
Apple Needs Innovated Drivetrain Technology
motoragent   2/28/2015 10:05:37 AM
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Apple needs to go to the forefront of drivetrain technology, such as the electric motor/generator system. There is not enough mineable materials for rare Earth permanent magnet motors, if electric vehicles (EV) became the norm. Many motor researching are finding induction motors are a comparable alternative, which shows motors/generators are as important as batteries for the success of the EV.  But if induction motors are a alternative, then why not the only brushless, symmetrical stable (during motoring and generator) wound-rotor doubly-fed synchronous electric motor/generator system of Best Electric Machine (BEM), which can nearly double the power density and torque density of the induction motor (using the same footprint) while nearly halving the loss and cost and while using the same packaging techniques and material science (available to all) that other motor manufacturers consider their value added performance.

ABrantley
User Rank
Silver
Apple's Interest
ABrantley   2/26/2015 3:50:42 PM
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Apple has a history of innovating by examining a area of technology that's encrusted in historical evolution and redefining the experience. It's more industrial design than electronic innovation. 

I suspect that they are prototyping how Apple design techniques for software and iPhone like features (not the phone per se) could be incorporated in vehicle design to create "mass-produced customization".

My experience with many of the electronic interfaces in vehicles doesn't seem either flexible, configurable, or particularly intuitive.

 

ABrantley
User Rank
Silver
Re: don't do it
ABrantley   2/26/2015 3:43:16 PM
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Why, yes, Rod, I have a 2003 Mac Pro that runs 24/7, with RAID storage, that archives all my paper and e-documents, runs home automation, and serves up music and video.

Like your 23 year old truck, I've done occasional parts replacements and upgrades (more memory, bigger disks, bigger display), but the engine just keeps running.

Of course, I have both off-machine and off-site backups, too. 

What you can do with your 23 year old vehicle is what it could do 23 years ago. Your mileage is probably less than newer vehicles, your oil needs changing more often, and your emissions are higher. 

On the other hand, the engine is simpler and you can do much of your own maintenance. On newer vehicles, the consumer cannot do as much because of all the electronics controlling everything.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Apple car
naperlou   2/26/2015 11:31:21 AM
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kwcclark, that is great.  I think you have captured their probable marketing approach exactly. 

Steve Heckman
User Rank
Gold
Re: 10-Year-Old Apple Consumer Product
Steve Heckman   2/26/2015 11:22:16 AM
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I have an older phillips MP3 player I still use while working around the house or excerising. The basic concept is that if I damage a $30 music player, there will be less swearing.

kwcclark
User Rank
Iron
Re: Apple car
kwcclark   2/26/2015 11:18:21 AM
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Also, it would become obsolete after three years, after which upgrades would become unavailable.  It could be fueled ( charged ?) only at an AppleJuice(tm) station, and while it would run on regular roads, it would run much better on iWays(tm).


You know how to make a small fortune it the automobile industry?  Start with a large one!

 

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 10-Year-Old Apple Consumer Product
naperlou   2/26/2015 10:53:12 AM
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We have at least one iPod that works, but is never used. 

You ask what Apple will do next.  That is a good question.  A lot of technology companies such as Apple, and especially the software based ones, such as Google and Facebook, have made lots of money becuase they are in a mass market space that can easily change.  Apple's growth in phones is slowing and their stock was down by a lot today.  Google is reporting reduced ad revenue.  I have seen statistical studies predicting that Facebook will probably become another, uh what was that called? 

The plain fact is that the products from these companies are too expensive, but they have great marketing. We are seeing push back starting to kick in.  They need to find the next thing, but I think they are looking in the wrong place.  Only time will tell.

They also tend to fill a niche that is not, shall we say, essential.  Cars are essential, and look at the variety.  Phones are essential, but what level of processing and display do we really need? 

Critic
User Rank
Platinum
10-Year-Old Apple Consumer Product
Critic   2/26/2015 10:11:15 AM
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I have an iPod that still works, but it has become irrelevant.  Music can be stored in a phone, so there is no need to carry a separate device.

It will be interesting to see what Apple does next.

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