What does CarPlay mean to Apple’s Business?
Now that iOS in the Car has been renamed CarPlay and will be shown off at the Geneva Motor Show, I thought it would be fun to start a discussion on what this all means to Apple, its competitors, and car drivers going forward.
It’s noteworthy that none of the deals announced so far are exclusive, and I think there’s an obvious logic behind this. If you are a car manufacturer, you know darn well that your customers will use iPhones, Android, Windows Phone and yes, even BlackBerry. The last thing you want to do is sign an exclusive deal with one phone manufacturer while another car manufacturer ends up supporting multiple platforms. All this does is potentially alienate certain customers and guarantee that you sell fewer cars.
So I don’t think I’m going out on much of a limb when I predict that all smartphone platforms will eventually be able to hook into almost any car. The car’s infotainment system will need to function as a two-way interface with the smartphone.
Does this mean there is no competitive advantage for Apple? I don’t think it’s quite that simple. The smartphone market has started to mature, but it’s still growing, so I think Apple can benefit from being a first mover.
BlackBerry’s co-founder Mike Lazaridis once told me, in only a half-joking way, that the car is the ultimate smartphone accessory. Phones usually result in the sales of accessories, and I suppose it’s possible that some iPhone owners will buy CarPlay-enabled vehicles like a big, expensive accessory to their iPhone. But I think it’s just as likely that things go in the other direction and car buyers pick an iPhone because of CarPlay.
So if all cars will support all major platforms in the long run, maybe there is a market opportunity for some third party to design an amazing infotainment system based on a proprietary OS that can connect into anything made by Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc?
Apple doesn't seem to have any interest in doing that. They AirPlay to televisions, they don't license out embedded operating systems to run the television's menu system and interactive features. Likewise, they CarPlay to vehicles, they don't license or embed the operating system that powers the infotainment display when there's no iPhone attached.
I'm fine with that. Apple does best when they stay focused. But it does mean there needs to be something running those systems. So... Hello QNX? Maybe BlackBerry can become the middleman between the world’s most popular smartphone operating systems and the world’s most popular cars?
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
Former sell side analyst, out-of-box thinker, consultant, entrepreneur. Interests: Wife & kids, tech, NLP, fitness, travel, investing, 4HWW.
Watch some videos on it, it's pretty cool. Also look at Qualcomm and QNX team up videos too.
The Sync is a great example of what a pathetic failure should be. This isn't about providing the first product, this is about providing the best experience. Guess what...
Not to mention Google and Apple are both Partners with QNX. Check out Mirrorlink videos (QNX and OpenVNC's baby) you can mirror your beloved iPhone screen onto the car Infotainment and use your apps natively. Just like you can with WP, BB and Android as well. Most likely this will just be an option. Apple does have to work on their layer and give people a choice to not use Apple's Maps which is frowned upon in many countries and considered fatal. Apple maps was banned in Australia for causing deaths back in 2012 not sure about now. Now onto your security claim. People forgot about Androids security flaws and now it's all on Apple. Apple is the least secure phone right now which just got brought to the media after 2 years of Apple knowing it and not doing anything. Almost anyone with something between there ears can take all the information off your iPhone when you go to a local Starbucks using their wifi or any wifi for that matter. But that's an example on just 1 of the security loop holes in the iPhone but there are many and now it's most out in the open. Apple is no longer innovative. That ship has sailed. We'll see cool things from them always but it's not innovated its just something with a fancy name and that only works with iPhones like AirDrop (Wifi Direct all phones have it and use with each other but Airdrop only works with iPhone but it's the exact same) and iBeacon (BTE)...