In an interview with the BBC, the Tesla Motors CEO said that it was quite obvious that Apple is making a car.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Apple making a car was essentially an “open secret.” His response came after he was asked if he was worried about new competition such as Apple. Musk characteristically replied that he was not and that he has always viewed Tesla as an accelerant to getting more electric vehicles on the road.
“I encourage more participation by whoever it is to create electric vehicles,” Musk said. “It’s quite hard to do, but I think companies like Apple will probably make a compelling electric car. It seems like the obvious thing to do.”
When asked if he thought Apple was building a car, Musk didn’t even flinch. “Well it’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over 1000 engineers to do it,” he said.
We know Apple has been on an engineer hiring spree, but so far no one from Silicon Valley has quite confirmed what everyone has long suspected as bluntly as Musk. This also comes after Apple made waves earlier this week when news broke that the company had bought up a bunch of web domain names, such as Apple.car, Apple.cars, and Apple.auto.
There has been much speculation as to whether Apple is developing software for vehicles or its own all-electric, potentially autonomous car, but the latter seems to be more and more likely despite the high risks and low profit margins of car manufacturing. The future of transportation is going to look very different than what it is now, and Apple will want to be involved somehow.
Given the direction of the modern automobile, where services and features can be purchased after the point of sale, a car could be Apple’s next iPhone.
This would also make sense with Apple’s current stock predicaments. As iPhone 6 sales have slowed, the company’s stock is taking a hit as investors worry that the company won’t find its next successful product to match the iPhone, which is largely how it has amassed such a huge pile of cash. Given the direction of the modern automobile, where services and features can be purchased after the point of sale, a car could be Apple’s next iPhone.
As we saw at CES last week, the connected car has the potential to shift some of the business of selling cars to a more service-based model post purchase, similar to apps with smartphones. While cars are still immensely more complex than phones, we’re already starting to see signs of this. Tesla, for example, allowed Model S owners who didn’t originally buy the Autopilot package to upgrade their cars at a price when the software was released. General Motors already has a direct digital connection with OnStar, and it will likely use it as a pipeline for software and services in the future. Then there’s Faraday Future, the startup electric carmaker that aims to create highly connected, autonomous electric vehicles where selling services is the main business.
When thought of in this light, Musk is right: It seems pretty obvious that Apple would make a car.
Source by: Road & Track