Drawing Parallels with Apple and Tesla

Drawing Parallels with Apple and Tesla

Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. share a lot of the same characteristics. Design, innovative technology, and a commanding approach to their ecosystems are all hallmarks of both organizations. Instead of physical controls, Tesla's automobiles have a large iPad-like screen, and consumers may use their smartphone as a key. It's also steadily progressing towards self-driving cars. As a result, Tesla has been dubbed "the Apple of Automobiles."

Tesla's iPhone app is impressive, allowing owners to unlock their cars, regulate the heat, and manage charging from afar. It's also convenient to be able to use your iPhone as a car key. However, once you're in the automobile, the Apple/Tesla compatibility largely vanishes.

For example, you can’t access Apple Music through the Tesla app and you have to stream directly over Bluetooth. The lack of Apple Music and CarPlay support in Teslas comes down to decisions from the auto manufacturer rather than Apple.

Apple has been attempting to get its services onto every device or vehicle that will support them. Apple Music is built into the Porsche Taycan, Android, smart TVs, and speakers from Google, Amazon and Sonos.

You can’t blame Tesla for not wanting to give up control of its interface. Full integration could expose users to Apple services and thus become a risk when Apple eventually ships its own vehicle.  But is the Apple car going to be a reality and would it really pose a threat to Tesla’s customer base?


What We Know About the Apple Car

Apple has been working on its EV called Project Titan since forever – 2014 to be exact. It had a massive team of experts and engineers developing an electric vehicle at a secret location near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.

But the Apple Car project has been plagued with several leadership changes and hundreds of employees being laid off during the course of development.

Apple revealed in December 2020 that it is still working on a self-driving car and that it now plans to release one in three to six years. Apple will manufacture the vehicles with a partner, and the company is working on "next-generation" battery technology to improve range and efficiency.

Apple is developing a "monocell" design that will increase the size of individual battery cells while also freeing up room inside the battery pack by removing pouches and modules that carry battery components. This will enable more active material to be packed into a smaller container. The battery technology has been compared to "the first time you saw the iPhone" and hailed as "next level."

There are many guesses as to the design of the first Apple-branded EV 

Carmaker Partnerships

Rumors were abound that Apple would partner with Hyundai. Despite the reports of an Apple/Hyundai-Kia alliance, Apple has put the talks on hold and is currently exploring Apple Car plans with other automakers. Despite the fact that Hyundai later reversed and altered the remark, media reports indicated that Apple was displeased that Hyundai confirmed it was in talks with Apple.

Apple is reportedly said to have approached Nissan about a possible alliance but talks fell through due to differences regarding Apple Car details. Nissan was concerned that Apple would degrade it to a simple hardware supplier if the two businesses formed a collaboration. Apple wants complete control over the design and software of the Apple Car, and Nissan has stated that it has no intentions to modify the way it manufactures automobiles.


Recent News

Doug Field, Apple's automobile chief, has been appointed by Ford as its chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer.

The resignation is the latest in a series of changes for Apple's automotive division, which has seen multiple changes in recent years.

Field joins Ford at a time when the automaker has been rapidly expanding its electric car ambitions, most notably with the Ford F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of the wildly successful pickup truck.

It does the pose the question of how realistic or how soon we can expect an Apple-branded car if key players keep changing.