Fiat CEO meets with Tim Cook, says Apple planning automotive 'intervention'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
Following a recent trip to California, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said he met with Apple's Tim Cook to discuss the tech giant's "intervention in the car," suggesting Cupertino is continuing work on new automotive technologies.


A Fiat 600 customized by Apple designers Jony Ive and Marc Newson for a charity auction in 2013.


Marchionne on Saturday said his California pit stop included meetings with Cook, Tesla boss Elon Musk and others, reports Reuters. The FCA chief also took a ride in Google's self-driving car during his trip.

As for Apple's automotive ambitions, Marchionne refused to comment in detail, saying only that Cook is "interested in Apple's intervention in the car, that's his role."

Publicly, Apple fields one major automobile-related initiative in CarPlay, an iOS-based in-car infotainment system designed to connect with and harness iPhone's communications, entertainment and navigation capabilities. In March, Cook said all major automakers are on board and will collectively roll out integration across 40 car models this year.

A number of FCA subsidiaries have pledged support for Apple's solution, including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge and the RAM Trucks brand, Fiat and its Abarth-badged performance line, and Ferrari. Together, the company's brand presence accounts for more than 20 percent of all CarPlay partners.

Marchionne's recent meeting with Cook adds fuel to rumors of a so-called "Apple Car," an electric vehicle said to be in development under the codename project "Titan." Hard evidence of such efforts has yet to surface, though Some have attributed mysterious vans carrying advanced sensor packages to Titan. It is more likely that these Apple-registered vehicles are part of an unannounced effort to bolster Apple Maps with ground-level imagery.

However, an AppleInsider investigation recently revealed Apple is running a secret automotive project out of unmarked buildings in Sunnyvale, Calif., where multiple warehouses are outfitted with garage and repair facilities. Interestingly, one of the buildings loosely linked to Apple, but officially leased by a company named "SixtyEight, LLC.," imported a red 1957 Fiat Multipla from the UK, the same model car Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive and Marc Newson customized and auctioned off for charity in 2013.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 131
    rumpelsrumpels Posts: 20member
    Apple should "intervene" in the slow performance and bugs of iOS software. Just stop making stuff and fix your software!
    All my iPhone's with iOS before 7 and 8 were fast and fine. iOS 7 and 8 actually made me think of getting an Android based phone in the future :/
  • Reply 2 of 131
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,290member
    Fitted with Michelin - OS X Radials I assume? :)
  • Reply 3 of 131
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Itunes and the music app in ios have bugs dating back a decade. Fix those first while you are at it...
  • Reply 4 of 131
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,947member
    jsmythe00 wrote: »
    You're right. The should focus on debugging iOS. But hey if you can't deal with a few issues that WILL be fixed, hop off the train and report back in a year your android experience.

    I'll never touch that OS. My GF Had the GS4 and it was such a horrible experience

    The problem is once they've gotten rid of all the bugs they're releasing a new bug filled version. Therein is the problem with yearly updates
  • Reply 5 of 131
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member

    I love the Italians and their cars. I admire their passion and the ways they "hoe their own row."

     

    I drove a Fiat 600 (650?) in Portugal in the early '70s. Funky little car, but fun to drive. Today's Abarth incarnation is impressive, if pricey. I love the Vespa scooter. And, though the Ferrari is outrageously expensive "highway art", I still aspire to own one some day. Love the FF!

     

    Let's see what kind of "music" Apple can make with Fiat and Chrysler!

  • Reply 6 of 131
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    The problem is once they've gotten rid of all the bugs they're releasing a new bug filled version. Therein is the problem with yearly updates

    and if Apple didn't have yearly updates people would complain that Apple was boring, no longer innovating etc. When the iPhone 5 came out all we got was "it's just a stretched iPhone 4" and "what the hell has Jony Ive been doing for the past year?" comments. iOS 9 is supposed to be a 'snow leopard' type release but if all we get is bug fixes and stability I have no doubt there will be tons of complaints saying "that's it?!?", wondering where the new features are and Engadget will write another article asking when did Apple became the boring one.

    Personally I'd like to see Apple decouple their apps from major OS updates so we can get more frequent updates and improvements. It appears they might be starting to do that as they made some significant changes to the music app in a point release. I'd love to see improvements to other apps on a more frequent basis rather than shoving it all in a major release once a year. Leave the major releases for things that take advantage of new hardware features.
  • Reply 7 of 131
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Apple going into cars doesn't fit the company's pattern of success. It got away with selling computers priced far higher than DOS ones because a GUI was better. It is doing well against Windows now because OS X is better designed and Apple hardware is more reliable. The iPod filled a need for a useful music player and the iPhone filled a huge gap. When it came out, most cell phones were ill-designed junk. I know. I owned several. Success with the iPhone could be parlayed into success with tablets, since the two ran the same apps. Even the Apple Watch, a solution in search of a problem, can be justified as a way to control a market that might become useful in a few years.

    Not so cars. There's an enormous variety of cars on the market and many are well-designed for their specific niche. Consumers can get almost any combination of features they want except one: dead simple to operate and fix. That's why I drive a car that's 35 years old. Nothing is computerized and very little is electrical. It is easy to fix and costs almost nothing to maintain.

    Somehow I can't see Apple moving into the simple to operate and fix market. I suspect that it wants to compete in a high-end market that has had many decades to sharpen its expertise. BMW and Mercedes aren't like Microsoft. They didn't get to the top of their markets by stumbling into a near-monopoly. They earned their status.
  • Reply 8 of 131
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,599member
    rogifan wrote: »

    Personally I'd like to see Apple decouple their apps from major OS updates so we can get more frequent updates and improvements. It appears they might be starting to do that as they made some significant changes to the music app in a point release. I'd love to see improvements to other apps on a more frequent basis rather than shoving it all in a major release once a year. Leave the major releases for things that take advantage of new hardware features.
    Sounds like a reasonable suggestion. Apple wouldn't be the first to do so and it seems to work to the users advantage.
  • Reply 9 of 131
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,527member

    "Intervention" by Apple in the automobile industry makes a lot more sense.

    It's better to have all car makers integrate Apple systems in every make/model than to make an entire Apple Car.

     

    Apple can further intervene in the automobile industry like they are doing with CarPlay today and with ApplePay in the payment industry.

     

    Today we have the CarPlay entertainment kit, tomorrow driver assistant kit, and then self-driving kit.

    Cars first, then airplanes, then space ships and space stations etc...

     

    Go Apple!  Go! Go! Go!

  • Reply 10 of 131
    john12345john12345 Posts: 152member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rumpels View Post



    Apple should "intervene" in the slow performance and bugs of iOS software. Just stop making stuff and fix your software!

    All my iPhone's with iOS before 7 and 8 were fast and fine. iOS 7 and 8 actually made me think of getting an Android based phone in the future :/



    First of all, I don't have any problems with my latest iPhone/ipad.  Some of the issues i've had are app specific issues, not ios.   Secondly, whatever issues there are with iOS, there are far more problems with android/windows(i know because i've used galaxy S5).

  • Reply 11 of 131
    morkymorky Posts: 170member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

    Consumers can get almost any combination of features they want except one: dead simple to operate and fix. That's why I drive a car that's 35 years old. Nothing is computerized and very little is electrical. It is easy to fix and costs almost nothing to maintain.

     

    Apple would only make fully electric cars along the vein of Tesla. They would have nothing to contribute to the ICE car market. EVs are the future and are a doubling of range and a halving of battery cost from making practical and economic sense for most people. EVs are wide open to for innovation and new ideas, and use a lot technologies Apple knows well. I'd love to see them in direct competition with Tesla and see those companies drive the future of electric cars. 

  • Reply 12 of 131
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,022member
    Fitted with Michelin - OS X Radials I assume? :)
    If Apple designs their own car, it will have custom designed ?Tires only.
  • Reply 13 of 131
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,947member
    mac_128 wrote: »
    If Apple designs their own car, it will have custom designed ?Tires only.

    Rectangular ones with rounded corners. :lol:
  • Reply 14 of 131
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,022member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Rectangular ones with rounded corners. image



    I was thinking something along the lines of this:

     

  • Reply 16 of 131
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Morky View Post

     

     

    Apple would only make fully electric cars along the vein of Tesla. They would have nothing to contribute to the ICE car market. EVs are the future and are a doubling of range and a halving of battery cost from making practical and economic sense for most people. EVs are wide open to for innovation and new ideas, and use a lot technologies Apple knows well. I'd love to see them in direct competition with Tesla and see those companies drive the future of electric cars. 




    Me too.

  • Reply 17 of 131
    Naysaying circa 2011-2014:
    [LIST]But but but Tim Cook's Apple hasn't give us anything new since Steve died"[/LIST]

    Naysaying 2015:
    [LIST]"But but but Apple can't compete with precious mechanical watches how dare they"
    "But but but Apple doesn't know what it's getting into with greasy cars"
    "But but but Apple needs to go back to making new Macs"[/LIST]
  • Reply 18 of 131
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    rumpels wrote: »
    Apple should "intervene" in the slow performance and bugs of iOS software. Just stop making stuff and fix your software!
    All my iPhone's with iOS before 7 and 8 were fast and fine. iOS 7 and 8 actually made me think of getting an Android based phone in the future :/

    enjoy your android, especially when it's not supported after a year. our iOS devices work fine with great performance.
  • Reply 19 of 131
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,022member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

     

    Me too.


    I think they could do a great job with this, no doubt. I would expect them to enter into a self-driving market though a few years down the line -- a car that does everything for you, and is more like a mobile living room than a car. I don't see them making a sports or muscle car, but en energy efficient smart car for the daily commute. Not even a steering wheel. Maybe like those cars in Minority Report. I wouldn't have thought this were possible so soon in the near future had I not seen a news story about the self driving truck that's on the roads now, that has the Teamsters up in arms. 

     

    I just don't think it's a good idea as a stock holder, at least right now. The capital investment would likely be far more massive than everything Apple has already brought to market combined, with much lower margins. But who knows 5 years from now. Let them develop the technologies all they want. Just don't jump prematurely into a money draining proposition.

  • Reply 20 of 131
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    blazar wrote: »
    Itunes and the music app in ios have bugs dating back a decade. Fix those first while you are at it...

    how interesting that the Music app could have 10-year-old bugs, considering iPhone is only 8 years old.

    thanks for playing!
    .
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