What role does a car play in Apple’s strategy? One potential analogy is the iPod, which was a pivotal device that propelled Apple beyond becoming just a tech corporation and laid the groundwork for the iPhone. That may also be like the Apple Television, which was a clear entry point into an otherwise unappealing market — but never materialized.
Apple is all about real, profitable success, not just technology. If a car is arriving, our forecasts have to reconcile with that.
“It’s obvious that Apple wants to create an Apple car 2021,” says Gene Munster, Managing Partner of Loup Ventures and a knowledgeable Apple observer. “Six months ago, that wasn’t clear.” Ambition, on the other hand, can take several types. If I had a choice, I would
One path the company will almost certainly avoid is contributing to another brand of car. “Licensing models are a lot easier to approach,” says Munster, “but it’s just not in Apple’s DNA to do that.”
The timing of a car may be laxer than many breathlessly predict. “I think it’s important to make a distinction between when Apple works on something compared to when it sees the light of day,” says Munster. Compounding that deliberate approach is the fact that battery prices keep falling, working in Apple’s favor as it decides whether car-making is compatible with its remarkable run at building corporate value.
Watch the embedded video to see me walk through the pros and cons of the most difficult thing to predict about Apple.