Steve Jobs wanted to build 'iCar,' Apple board member says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
J. Crew CEO and Apple board member Mickey Drexler claims that the tech giant's co-founder Steve Jobs had aspirations of designing a full-fledged automobile.

During a recent interview with Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference this week, Drexler said that Jobs wanted to build a so-called "iCar" before his death in 2011.

"Look at the car industry, it's a tragedy in America. Who's designing the cars?" Drexler said. "Steve's dream before he died was to design an iCar and I think it would've been probably 50% of the market. He never did design it."

Drexler also alluded to the much-rumored Apple television, saying that the company would be "dealing with" the living room at some point in the near future. It is unclear whether the board member has any specific information regarding a release, and his statement is most likely based on speculation.



The J. Crew chief also said that he wouldn't want to be in Tim Cook's shoes because it is more difficult to take the reins of an already-successful company that one that is failing.

Drexler, who has been a member of Apple's board since 1999, was formerly the CEO of clothing brand Gap before being fired in 2002. He was subsequently hired by J. Crew and has been attempting to rebrand the company as a high-end American fashion boutique.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "Steve wanted to do something, but he didn't."


     


    And somehow that's news? I'm certain he wanted to make a car, but that's not Apple's forte, nor was it critically important.


     


    Quote:



    Drexler also alluded to the much-rumored Apple television, saying that the company would be "dealing with" the living room at some point in the near future.



     


    In other news, Drexler has been ousted from the Apple board of directors.


     


    So, given that there are no links in this article that allow us to see what he really said, could you explain how this alludes to the television in any way?

  • Reply 2 of 95
    boriscletoboriscleto Posts: 159member


    If Microsoft Built Cars… 

    1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you’d have to buy a new car.

    2. Occasionally your car would just die on the motorway for no reason, and you’d have to restart it. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this, restart and drive on.

    3. Your car would inexplicably get slower over time and, every 3-6 months, it would simply grind to halt and fail to restart. At this point, you’d have to reinstall the engine. For some strange reason, you’d just accept this too.

    4. Apple would make a car that was powered by the sun, was three times more reliable, fast, and easy to drive–but most people wouldn’t know it or believe it.

    5. Apple car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars which would make their cars go much slower.

    6. Microsoft would replace the oil, engine, gas and alternator warning lights with a single “General Car Fault” warning light.

    7. People would get excited about the “new” features in Microsoft cars, not knowing that they had been available in Apple’s cars for many years.

    8. Microsoft cars would come with 5-year-old Apple car paint jobs, but they’d be the same crappy Microsoft car underneath.

    9. If you were involved in a crash, you’d have no idea what happened.

    10. Before deploying, the airbag system would ask “Cancel or Allow?”

  • Reply 3 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by boriscleto View Post

    Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads."



     


    That was a lot of extra formatting code. image


     


    For an iCar, I'd imagine the frame would be made of one piece of aluminum and the door seams wouldn't be visible when they're shut… 


     


    Lights would be handled by strips of LEDs instead of single lights… I wonder if I could mock that up… 


     


    nano-engineered-audi-a9-futuristic-car-03.jpg


     


    Can't mock it up… BUT, lights like the back strip here, except all the way around the vehicle at that same thickness. So when you're turning left, the entire left half of the strip will blink. When you're braking, the entire back half of the strip will be red. And the strip wouldn't have to be fully horizontal; you could design the vehicle around the lighting. 


     


    Anyone else with iCar ideas?

  • Reply 4 of 95
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So, given that there are no links in this article that allow us to see what he really said, could you explain how this alludes to the television in any way?



    Link IS in the article but the comments are in the video so you can find out exactly what he said by clicking the play button.

  • Reply 5 of 95
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member


    With $100B in pocket and much expertise in Li-Ion battery chemistry and management they can certainly disrupt the auto industry too.

  • Reply 6 of 95
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,803member
    Did Steve call it "iCar" or is that Drexler's name for it? Seriously.
  • Reply 7 of 95
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    I wish they would at least redo the car stereo.
  • Reply 8 of 95
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member


    ex-board member ;-)

  • Reply 9 of 95
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    self-driving

  • Reply 10 of 95
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    ex-board member ;-)



     


    Shouldn't this fool Drexler still be under an NDA restricting him from divulging information gleaned from his stint serving on the Apple board?


     


    Sue him!

  • Reply 11 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    self-driving


     


    Driven by Google.™


     


    And before the end of this decade, we'll start seeing that horrifying phrase on new cars… 

  • Reply 12 of 95
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post



    I wish they would at least redo the car stereo.


     


    They did...it's called the iPod.


     


    Seriously though, I've thought the same thing, then realized the only think I ever use my car stereo for is as a plug-in point for my iPod. It actually kinda sucks that I have had to pay for all the other crap (and look at all the crap) on a full-blown car stereo for this.


     


    The most I could see Apple doing is some kind of in dash iPod dock: Jump in. Plug in. Drive away. But then anyone can do that and they'd probably not sell enough to make it worth the R&D, engineering and marketing costs.

  • Reply 13 of 95
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,677member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     I'm certain he wanted to make a car, but that's not Apple's forte, nor was it critically important.


     



    If Steve had built a car and it was 'revolutionary' in the same sense that much of Apple's work has been, how could it not have been critically important? The car is pretty fundamental to the life style of most of Apple's customers, and probably well beyond that group, too. In essence it would no doubt have been a computer with wheels, seats and a touch screen. 

  • Reply 14 of 95
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,803member
    That was a lot of extra formatting code. :lol:

    For an iCar, I'd imagine the frame would be made of one piece of aluminum and the door seams wouldn't be visible when they're shut… 

    Lights would be handled by strips of LEDs instead of single lights… I wonder if I could mock that up… 

    Anyone else with iCar ideas?

    You'd tell Siri the destination, and the car would deliver you there.
    Also, all surfaces would be retina displays.
    It could only be parked in a walled garden at night.
    Where ever you go, it would attract the wrong kind of attention from protesters like Greenpeace and Mike Daisey, who would berate owners for contributing to the woes of the planet.
    Samsung would copy its design and fanboys would claim Apple didn't invent the car.
    It would be entirely made from aluminum and glass.
    It would be completely symmetrical along both axes.
    Dieter Rams would buy one.
    It would be one color initially: black. Followed by white.
    The lights would be hidden behind aluminum body panels and appear to shine through the metal.
    It would run 500 miles on three unicorn tears.
  • Reply 15 of 95
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    J. Crew CEO and Apple board member Mickey Drexler claims that the tech giant's co-founder Steve Jobs had aspirations of designing a full-fledged automobile.


     


    And then he realized that he probably wouldn't be able to do half of the cool stuff (and simplifying stuff) he would want to do because of extremely detailed government regulations governing cars.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "Look at the car industry, it's a tragedy in America. Who's designing the cars?"


     


    Congress.

  • Reply 16 of 95
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Driven by Google.™


     


    And before the end of this decade, we'll start seeing that horrifying phrase on new cars… 



    I'm looking forward to it, even if it is Google. An extra half hour's sleep each morning while my car drives me to work.

  • Reply 17 of 95
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member


    For years I've suspected that Apple's experience with power systems management and engineering battery life improvements would one day lead to their developing either a vehicle of some kind or a system that could be used to power a vehicle or a home. If they haven't already built protos for this kind of thing, they may already have applied for patents... that we'll discover in ten years.

  • Reply 18 of 95
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member


    You can't rebrand J. Crew as a high-end American fashion boutique if you're selling low-end crap!! Has anybody here even been in a J. Crew recently? The clothes are atrocious.

  • Reply 19 of 95


    The original Aptera, before the usurper auto exec kicked out the company's two founders and redesigned it into a bloated McDonald's drive-thru capable machine. It is a masterpiece of simplicity, energy efficiency, ease of repair, durability, and good design. Almost no moving parts, and safe as an Indy race machine. Electric or hybrid, your choice. An iCar if ever there was one. Check out Jay Leno's test drive at his web site: even in its bloated final form, it still drove insanely well.


     


    Pity a Chinese investor bought all the IP and molds. BTW: they are building them in China. Aptera is not dead; it came back to life last week. But it is no longer American.

  • Reply 20 of 95


    Give it three wheels, and it's a motorcycle. Car rules do not apply...

Sign In or Register to comment.