With reports in April 2016 that Apple’s sales showed a decline for the first time in years, it’s all but certain that the technology giant is looking for new and exciting ways to bring its brand of tech appeal to new sales markets. There is always rumour and behind-the-scenes buzz about what Apple may be working on. Consider the length and intensity surrounding Apple Watch and each release of the iPhone. Perhaps farther into the future than these devices, Apple Car is the subject of much auto industry speculation.
Design Direction for Apple Car
The actual Apple Car project is surrounded by a thick wall of secrecy. Despite that, car magazine Motor Trend sought auto industry speculation about what the company might develop. On top of that, they also commissioned an artist’s concept of what an Apple vehicle might look like. The Motor Trend projection does look like a car inspired by the design of Apple’s mobile devices, a car re-envisioned with an iPad aesthetic.
The success of the Tesla EV model makes this a likely and logical direction for Apple to follow. Tesla founder Elon Musk wanted his vehicles to stir the EV pot with the major car manufacturers, though it’s unlikely he’d be disappointed about inspiring Apple to go in this direction. There’s little doubt that Apple would aim for the cutting edge and that’s where EV technology resides. With the start-up infrastructure already being installed in the form of charging station networks, Apple is free to concentrate on refining the EV experience.
Car-Buying Market Changes
As the iTunes Store dramatically influenced the way music is sold, evolving car ownership models may also accompany Apple’s entry into the automotive world. If the rate of development of smartcar technology rivals that of smartphones, Apple Car and the vehicles it inspires may become obsolete more quickly, based on software, rather than mechanics, falling behind. This might lead to leasing being the wave of the future, perhaps with a uniquely Apple twist.
Where the really exciting part of the Apple Car Concept leaps forth is in how the company will implement apps. It’s one thing to have a dash-mounted console to expand on a smartphone connection. It’s quite another when Apple has the whole vehicle to treat as a platform. Imagine laser projection onto windshield and dash and the most complex instrument clusters in use today seem simple and limited.
With the proliferation of driver-assist technologies already trickling down, expect Apple to embrace and expand the autonomous car concept. With a manufacturer as steeped in leading-edge tech as Apple, the boundaries of what a car can be may be due for an intense re-mapping.