Retired GM chief Dan Akerson likens rumored Apple car program to 'trying to cough up a hairball'

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  • Reply 41 of 143
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

     
    Same with Apple wanting to require an adapter to connect their cars to gas station pumps, 


    I think we can all agree that Apple will not be using petrol to power their car, should they make one, but I get your point.

  • Reply 43 of 143
    splifsplif Posts: 596member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Following a five-year run in Detroit that saw him inexplicably chosen to oversee General Motors, longtime telecom executive Dan Akerson has elected to weigh on in Apple's possible entry into the car making arena, saying that Cupertino has "no idea what they're getting into."

    Telecom executive? Why was he chosen to run an auto company? It surely wasn't based on his knowledge of the Auto industry. This is what Job's was referring to about the auto industry. The problem with most of these large corporations is that they are run by place holder CEOs. They have no knowledge or passion for the product they are producing.

  • Reply 44 of 143
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I swear, Apple is living rent free in everyone's head. This car stuff is is so ridiculous its comical. And then you have the Moto president calling Apple's prices outrageous in response to Jony Ive's comments in that New Yorker piece. Of course Ive never mentioned Moto by name. Yet the Moto CEO felt it necessary to swing at the pitch. :D

    http://tinyurl.com/mb8cxhg
  • Reply 45 of 143
    thrangthrang Posts: 870member
    I still think it's more Apple branded design and engineered systems, similar to what BMW DesignWorks services offers (where BMW contracts out its design and engineering expertise to other industry segments).
  • Reply 46 of 143
    Apple were getting into a growth industry when they brought out the iPhone. Cars aren't a growth industry, in developed economies anyway.

    "peak car" is the buzzword - that car use in developed economies has peaked and is a best flat or is has slowly declined.

    Particularly in dense urban areas, there is increasing focus on reducing car dependency because of congestion, pollution and the sheer inefficiency of the space needed by cars for driving and parking.

    So are Apple looking at making something that compared to existing cars, doesn't pollute, takes up a lot less space and is cheaper?

    Sounds like the iBike to me.
  • Reply 47 of 143

    Why would this guy think Apple has not done or will not do a lot of research about automotive regulations? For some reason I get the feeling the guy is angling for a consultant position at Apple to provide his knowledge about automotive regulations.

  • Reply 48 of 143
    slurpy wrote: »
    It's so cute that this guy is so concerned about protecting Apple from entering their doomed business. Nice to know he's looking out for their best interests. If he ACTUALLY believed they would fail and did not see them as a threat, he would welcome their entry, not give a million reasons why it's such a horrible, horrible idea. 

    Or, he can just keep his fucking mouth shut and not sound like a moron, as noone has a clue if Apple is even considering entering that business. And IF they do, they don't need this tool to advise them to "think carefully" about it, or inform them that *OMG* metal is used to make cars. I'm sure after hearing this new information, Apple have changed all their plans and went back to the drawing board. The guy sounds hysterical. 

    He's probably more sacred of Apple changing the game, which tends to be their (and many Silicon Valley startups') MO lately. Business as usual vs. disruption.
  • Reply 49 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I swear, Apple is living rent free in everyone's head. This car stuff is is so ridiculous its comical. And then you have the Moto president calling Apple's prices outrageous in response to Jony Ive's comments in that New Yorker piece. Of course Ive never mentioned Moto by name. Yet the Moto CEO felt it necessary to swing at the pitch. image



    http://tinyurl.com/mb8cxhg



    Agreed. The Motorola "build your own smartphone" went nowhere fast. Fighting Apple because it is able to do something his company has been unable to do just shows jealousy. On top of that, the manufacturing facilities used for those smartphones were shut down, which caused workers to lose jobs. I wonder if he has something to say about that?

  • Reply 50 of 143
    redhanded wrote: »
    Apple were getting into a growth industry when they brought out the iPhone. Cars aren't a growth industry, in developed economies anyway.

    "peak car" is the buzzword - that car use in developed economies has peaked and is a best flat or is has slowly declined.

    Particularly in dense urban areas, there is increasing focus on reducing car dependency because of congestion, pollution and the sheer inefficiency of the space needed by cars for driving and parking.

    So are Apple looking at making something that compared to existing cars, doesn't pollute, takes up a lot less space and is cheaper?

    Sounds like the iBike to me.

    Yeah, PCs aren't a growth industry any more either. But Apple doesn't make PCs.
  • Reply 51 of 143
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member

    I gotta say, as someone who has a business selling big heavy fragile products, I always thought it was genius of a company to sell millions of little gadgets with no  moving parts. Little gadgets with great margins. I think it's genius. 

    To go from that to jumping into selling heavy, fragile products and all the liabilities that go with it, and with much lower margins ...not so much. 

  • Reply 52 of 143
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,370member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    He's probably more sacred of Apple changing the game, which tends to be their (and many Silicon Valley startups') MO lately. Business as usual vs. disruption.



    My guess is that he's just clueless, and that his thinking is stuck inside of a box that he can't even perceive, much less escape. 

  • Reply 53 of 143
    GM's idea of industry "disruption" is mismanaging themselves into bankruptcy and asking taxpayers for a bailout because they're too big to fail.
  • Reply 54 of 143
    To be fair, there are a few things that worry me about an Apple automobile. A car has a lot of moving parts and is exposed to some extremely harsh environments. Wheels and engine parts move at high speed. There is a lot of vibration and the entire thing must work even if partially submerged in water. The iPhone cannot stand even a damp environment and routinely breaks if exposed to any kind of drop or stress. Many automobile failure modes only appear after many hours of use and then can be deadly. I am not saying that Apple or even Google could not make a self driving car. I am saying that it will take some time for them to learn to make a good one.
  • Reply 55 of 143
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Agreed. The Motorola "build your own smartphone" went nowhere fast. Fighting Apple because it is able to do something his company has been unable to do just shows jealousy. On top of that, the manufacturing facilities used for those smartphones were shut down, which caused workers to lose jobs. I wonder if he has something to say about that?

    Also one could argue if Apple's prices weren't so "outrageous" Moto wouldn't even exist. These companies would seriously shit their pants if Apple ever lowered the price of iPhones.
  • Reply 56 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post



    GM's gross margins are 11%. GM's product mix is heavy on low margin mid-price and economy cars. Probably not the market Apple would target, if they did target the auto industry.



    I've heard GM described as a finance company that makes cars. In other words, they lose money on nearly every car they make, but make it up in finance charges through GMAC. It's generally a sub-prime business.

     

    Apple could certainly outsource the building of the car. Yeah, they probably won't build a whole car, unless it's one of the "simple" driverless cars that are being tested in England (and they don't go fast).

  • Reply 57 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by redhanded View Post



    "peak car" is the buzzword - that car use in developed economies has peaked and is a best flat or is has slowly declined.

    LOL -- "peak car"? Seriously? Do you know that 2014 is the year in which the largest number of cars ever sold in the US?

     

    Who came up with this? The same geniuses that came up with "peak oil"?

  • Reply 58 of 143

    Electric/Driverless cars need operating systems. Apple has OS X.  The only way Apple can make a car operating system is to make a car to test it.  I would trust Apple's OS over anyone else's.

     

    So while they may not be making a car for the public, they want to get their OS into as many cars as possible to control the ecosystem - just like they did with the iPod, Mac, iPhone and iPad.

  • Reply 59 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Also one could argue if Apple's prices weren't so "outrageous" Moto wouldn't even exist. These companies would seriously shit their pants if Apple ever lowered the price of iPhones.



    They could wipe out everyone with low-margin devices: laptops, phones, tablets...

     

    But, in the end that would probably not be a sustainable business. And you don't want to be so big it's not feasible.

  • Reply 60 of 143
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post



    To be fair, there are a few things that worry me about an Apple automobile. A car has a lot of moving parts and is exposed to some extremely harsh environments. Wheels and engine parts move at high speed. There is a lot of vibration and the entire thing must work even if partially submerged in water. The iPhone cannot stand even a damp environment and routinely breaks if exposed to any kind of drop or stress. Many automobile failure modes only appear after many hours of use and then can be deadly. I am not saying that Apple or even Google could not make a self driving car. I am saying that it will take some time for them to learn to make a good one.



    Yes, but aren't electric cars a lot simpler? They don't have engines, but motors. They don't need a lot of what gas-powered cars need.

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