Apple’s Potholed Journey to the Luxury Car Industry with “Apple Car”
Over the years, Apple Inc has managed to establish itself as one of the leading smartphone companies in the world. As if its evergrowing iPhone series wasn’t enough, the company has already made plans of targeting the luxury car market. While the company is hopeful about this ambitious step, there seem to be a plethora of factors that it might need to consider.
For starters, Apple would have to make its mark in an intimidating $230 billion luxury car market, with century-old players like Mercedes-Benz. This, in itself, would be a huge task.
In 2014, Apple hinted towards its interest in dabbling into the luxury car market. Since then, it has had to face a fair share of ups and downs. Right from false starts to the company’s indecisive plans rotating between electric vehicles and self-driving technology, Apple has had quite the journey with this project.
Contract Manufacturing to a Third Party
An automotive giant, Tesla, had to face quite a few shortcomings in its initial days with the production of its electronic cars. Some of its cars had manufacturing problems as well as missing production goals.
In this case, Apple’s CEO Tim Cooks should also consider contracting the manufacturing to a third party to push his project forward.
Technology Way Different from the iPhone
Apple is known for its cutting-edge technology. The California-based company runs the game when it comes to the latest gadget technology. However, the automobile industry is a different ball game altogether.
Owing to the lack of visibility in how many automobiles are expected to be shipped in the first year itself, there’s little incentive for any supplier to produce an adequate number of components. Moreover, the technological differences between the two industries are almost astronomical, which has certainly become evident to the company over the years.
Foxconn Technology Group
To enter the automobile industry, Apple’s contract partner for iPhone manufacturing, Foxconn Technology Group, took on a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. While this seems to be a smart move, Apple might have to consider few other established automakers that can resolve engineering issues at a manufacturing level.
With the five major contenders that include the likes of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, Volvo with its Chinese parent Geely Automobile Holdings, VW, General Motors, etc., teaming up with an established player would turn out to be a great option.
Given the fact that each of the aforementioned brands has developed electric vehicle platforms, Apple wouldn’t find it difficult to team up. Besides, brands like VW and GM have already teamed up with Ford and Honda respectively.
With the “Apple Car”, the company would be targeting a different price bracket, that can prove to be risky. While Apple is known for its high-end software and design, it would have to change its outlook completely towards its pricing strategy for its luxury car.
While it seems like Apple may have to resolve all these challenges, one simply cannot forget the fact that the company is where it is today because of its impeccable technology. We can only hope to see the same unmatched technology in its luxury car.