Self-driving and electric cars are two of the most important technologies currently emerging, and while auto insurance companies decide exactly how self-driving cars should be handled, many companies are developing the technology that will soon power these vehicles and keep them under control. Rumor has it that one of those companies may be tech titan Apple Inc.
If you’ve ever used an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or any number of other devices prefixed with the letter “I”, you’re already familiar with Apple. As one of the world’s first and most successful smartphone manufacturers, Apple was on the ground floor of what would one day become a $400 billion smartphone market we have today. These devices are ubiquitous in modern life, owned and relied upon by millions of people every day for an unimaginable variety of tasks.
Apple is no stranger to innovation, but their strict business model doesn’t allow for very much risky experimentation. Apple is a fan of surefire schemes, but a new rumor regarding their plans to step into the automotive industry, if true, could help the company’s value finally break the $1 trillion mark. The company, currently valued at roughly $750 billion, hasn’t commented on rumors yet, but a string of recent hires including former automotive experts from Ford, Tesla, and others supports the speculation that the company may be preparing to manufacture or design their own car.
Apple’s most remarkable innovations include…
- Popularizing the MP3 player with the original iPod in 2001
- First commercially successful graphic computer interface
- iTunes, the poster child of online media distribution when it debuted
- 2007’s iPhone, the first widely successful “smartphone”
Flashy, high profile, and expensive vehicles are more likely to get stolen, and that may contribute to high auto insurance rates. Will Apple’s car be a sharp-looking supercar or a minimalists and affordable vehicle made for the masses?
Apple has been expanding their company’s appeal, introducing new products like the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch and CarPlay, and in-car iPhone integration system that is currently being introduced into vehicles not manufactured by Apple. With a wide and expanding range of products, each appealing to a certain kind of customer, some market analysts believe that, with sustainable expansion, Apple is capable of quadrupling its addressable market by 2020.
Carplay, Apple’s iOS-based in-car system that brings many of the iPhone’s integral features to the infotainment center or dashboard of a vehicle, is already available in several existing models that debuted this year. While many analysts suspect that Apple’s recent automotive hires are related solely to CarPlay, others suggest that Apple’s involvement with CarPlay supports their claims that Apple might branch out to other aspects of the car – or even a new Apple-made vehicle entirely. With some technology companies branching out into health and car insurance, this wouldn’t be the most outlandish move Apple could make, but it’s hard to predict how successful Apple will be.
How could the introduction of a vehicle into Apple’s existing line of cross-compatible technologies influence the company’s standing as a whole? An entirely new industry for Apple to explore and conquer could open many doors – as stated above, some stock market analysts expect Apple’s value to increase from its current $750 billion to $1 trillion by 2020 – but the auto industry isn’t an easy one to break into.
Is Apple in over their heads? Would you buy an Apple car? Would you ride along in a self-driving car? Let us know in the comments section below!