Apple's 'Project Titan' chief to reportedly leave company, car team under pressure

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  • Reply 61 of 103
    steviet02 said:
    Elon musk didn't start tesla motors.

    Edit: And considering musks background, from an engineering standpoint it's not crazy for him to have been involved . Supply chain master goes to Cook all the way. 

    Read back my comment. I didn't say Elon Musk started Tesla. I said he is leading the charge...

     And if having an engineering background is all that's required to gain other's confidence in one's ability to be involved in innovation of the automobile, well, I imagine there are quite a number of people with engineering backgrounds at Apple.
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.
    larryanetmage
  • Reply 62 of 103
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,091moderator
    steviet02 said:

    Read back my comment. I didn't say Elon Musk started Tesla. I said he is leading the charge...

     And if having an engineering background is all that's required to gain other's confidence in one's ability to be involved in innovation of the automobile, well, I imagine there are quite a number of people with engineering backgrounds at Apple.
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.

    Musk is an impressive guy, but he's not designing the whole of Tesla's cars by himself. So he has his own cadre of engineers doing most of the actual engineering and design. Much like Steve Jobs, despite getting much credit, was not the guy doing the actual work, otherwise the VP who is leaving Apple really has no resume to boast about, right?

    So there has to first be recognition that there are many who apply their talents, in any company, to get the actual work accomplished, with appropriate direction from management.

    Then there needs to be recognition that, in every high tech company (I've started a couple, most recently TimeTrade.com), there's ALWAYS constant pressure to meet tight deadlines throughout every stage of product development.  That's a fact of life, not something that should raise any specific concerns.  

    Finally, we don't know that this guy was put in charge of the project, the whole project, the first phase of the project, the staffing of the project, or just building out the roadmap for the project.  Unless the 'personal reasons' are truly reasons that came up in his life recently, like a health issue, then it's a safe assumption that he would have telegraphed his exit well in advance, potentially sufficiently in advance to have had his role on the project circumscribed right from the start.  Anyone who has managed a startup, which such a project mirrors in many ways, knows how to shape the project's management team and how to project well ahead how each part of that management team will contribute.  It's as likely as any other scenario that this guy was thinking about moving on, but agreed to stay long enough to help form the team and get the project to a certain milestone.  That's no less likely than the assumption he's just dropping out unexpectedly, leaving the project in turmoil.  We should give Apple a bit more credit than to assume that latter scenario.
    edited January 2016 Rayz2016cornchip
  • Reply 63 of 103
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,949member
    steviet02 said:

    Read back my comment. I didn't say Elon Musk started Tesla. I said he is leading the charge...

     And if having an engineering background is all that's required to gain other's confidence in one's ability to be involved in innovation of the automobile, well, I imagine there are quite a number of people with engineering backgrounds at Apple.
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.
    "As a shareholder that's what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most."

    Agreed.  As another poster mentioned earlier, I wonder if Apple would've been better purchasing another established auto manufacturer if they want in on the car business. Volvo is starting to fire on all cylinders right now, plus they're making great strides in autonomous technology. Or, another avenue for Apple would be to invest more heavily in cloud, AI, big data and set up a service to compete with Uber.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 64 of 103
    steviet02 said:
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.

    Musk is an impressive guy, but he's not designing the whole of Tesla's cars by himself. So he's his own company of engineers doing most of the actual engineering and design. Much like Steve Jobs, despite getting much credit, was t the guy doing the actual work, otherwise the VP who is leaving Apple really has no resume to boast about, right?

    So there has to first be recognition that there re many who apply their talents, in any company, to get the actual work accomplished, with appropriate direction from management.

    Then there needs to be recognition that, in every high tech company (I've started a couple, most recently TimeTrade.com), there's ALWAYS constant pressure to meet tight deadlines throughout every stage of product development.  That's a fact of life, not something that should raise any specific concerns.  

    Finally, we don't know that thi guy was put in charge of the project, the whole project, the first phase of tne project, the staffing of the project, or just building out the roadmap for the project.  Unless the 'personal reasons' are truly reasons that came up in his life recently, like a health issue, then it's a safe assumption that he would have telegraphed his exit well in advance, potentially sufficiently in advance to have had his role on the project circumscribed right from the start.  Anyone who has managed a startup, which such a project mirrors in many ways, knows how to shape the project's management team and how to project well ahead how each part of that management team will contribute.  It's as likely as any other scenario that this guy was thinking my about moving on, but agreed to stay long enough to help form the team and get the project to a certain milestone.  That's no less likely than the assumption he's just dropping out unexpectedly, leaving the project in turmoil.  We should give Apple a bit more credit than to assume that latter scenario.
    Musk was deeply involved in the design of the Roadster from almost all facets of the external design to the power electronics which provided the baseline understanding and learning of what it takes to produce and design that type of car. And even now, they are typically giving a wide window of time when the next vehicle will be ready and they frequently have missed those, and they have knowledge of what it takes to get a car to market.

    I think there needs to be recognition that designing a car by a company that has no history of designing and manufacturing cars means there is a lot of unknowns.  If it's true, as the post said, that there is unrealistic deadlines placed on the engineers without clear task goals it explains why some who have been there are leaving. He's apparently been in charge of this project since 2014 so it's not like it was a short period of time that he's been involved in this and I highly doubt they would have had him in charge of the project if they had known he was planning to leave.  Why you assume credit to Apple that someone couldn't possibly leave in turmoil is a little pie in the sky thinking.  Happens all the time, they might not be throwing fits on the way out, but leaking a story like this to the press is one way to exact a little piece of flesh from Apple, isn't it?
    canukstorm
  • Reply 65 of 103
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,627member
    steviet02 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Music players
    Smartphones
    Mobile processors
    Materials engineering

    Those are a couple of other things that Apple didn't have the talent to build. Thank god they steered clear of all that, eh? It would've been a bloodbath!

    Youve also missed something else here: Apple is never first to market. The iPad project started before the iPhone was conceived, which meant they must have been designing it for a good five years before it saw the light of day. They don't have to be first; they have to be better. 
    3 of the 4 don't even remotely compare to designing and manufacturing an auto. The 3rd item they purchased.  They have hired some ex tesla employees and battery engineers but that doesn't mean you know how to design a car. 

    its also easier to risk failing at a music player than a car.  A lot more investment in machining and r&d. So it has to return money and there won't be 60% profit margins on a car. 
    You don't start knowing how to design anything.  You learn or you buy expertise in. 

    And on the question of who they've been hiring, it does seem that it goes a little bit beyond 'some ex tesla employees and battery engineers'. 

    http://9to5mac.com/2015/02/19/apple-electric-car-team/

    And I'll also have to disagree that this is riskier than the music player.  If the car fails, Apple will still be sitting on a mountain of cash. If the iPod failed, it would have been pretty much game over. 
    cornchipnolamacguypalomine
  • Reply 66 of 103
    Rayz2016 said:
    steviet02 said:
    3 of the 4 don't even remotely compare to designing and manufacturing an auto. The 3rd item they purchased.  They have hired some ex tesla employees and battery engineers but that doesn't mean you know how to design a car. 

    its also easier to risk failing at a music player than a car.  A lot more investment in machining and r&d. So it has to return money and there won't be 60% profit margins on a car. 
    You don't start knowing how to design anything.  You learn or you buy expertise in. 

    And on the question of who they've been hiring, it does seem that it goes a little bit beyond 'some ex tesla employees and battery engineers'. 

    http://9to5mac.com/2015/02/19/apple-electric-car-team/

    And I'll also have to disagree that this is riskier than the music player.  If the car fails, Apple will still be sitting on a mountain of cash. If the iPod failed, it would have been pretty much game over. 
    Thats the whole point, you learn by doing, and setting unrealistic guidelines without clear goals isn't good. It means either you don't know what the goals are or the people underneath you can't get the job done in time.

    Of course the hires would go beyond the tesla employees and battery engineers, I wasn't purposely minimizing the skill of the employees it for the sake of brevity, but it still doesn't lessen the point whether they know how to design and build a car or not.  And if they aren't being lead properly, it's almost irrelevant.
  • Reply 67 of 103
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,358member

    So there has to first be recognition that there are many who apply their talents, in any company, to get the actual work accomplished, with appropriate direction from management.

    Haha, management always thinks that, but seldom has the talent to recognize the right direction people and equipment, they only think they do.

    Thats why someone like E Musk is so important, he can recognize that and act accordingly.
    Plus he has a real cause (not the marketing fluff).
    Money alone, is not enough, even 100th of billions cannot buy you what Mr Musk has.
    And they keep underestimate him, so it seem, very much to his advantage.

    (Edit: Musks secret, so it seems, is that he always has plans behind plans and people (investors) believe in him ...)
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 68 of 103
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member
    foggyhill said:
    Right... Something 30 years ago... That's entirely relevant to Apple now.

    There's plenty of company that made the transition from selling something else, to cars,
     just none recently (mostly because it takes much more capitals now than in the 1950-1960s).

    You kind of forget that the car is becoming a CONSUMER ELECTRONIC DEVICE.

    If god damn Google and Uber! can put a car on the road, google! And Amazon can get into manning fleet of drones.... (sic)
    I don't know how Apple could do worse than them. Seriously?
    Uber has a bit of experience in software and that's it.
    Google, 100 different moonshots, tries everything, good at next to nothing; hardware? Not that great. Software? OK, nothing to write home about.



    This is the car Google has put on the road so far:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/google-self-driving-cars-autonomous-driving-is-a-way-off-new-figures-show-a6827501.html

    Looks worse than a fucking toy. This is hardly anything Apple should strive for.
    I've been pointing this out for a long time now but no one seems to want to listen (even though it's true).  Autonomous vehicles simply DO NOT WORK (yet).  Any company who is actually striving at the moment to produce one for imminent sale is chasing unicorns.   The facts are readily available on the web for anyone who wants to look into it.  

    Apple making an electric car?  Great idea, probably will sell.   
    Apple making a "self-driving" electric car?  Not going to happen any time soon.  

    At the very best, some, new electric cars might include a half-assed, "use if it you dare," not-actually-legal-to-use, "autonomous mode."  

    After that happens, there will be the usual spate of stories in the press of young idiots enabling "auto-drive" and killing themselves or various innocent bystanders which will no doubt set the whole thing back even further for a time.  We will be extremely lucky to see self-driving cars happen before mid to late 21st century and it is far far more likely that the simpler solution (embedding a tiny strip of metal in the roads for them to follow), will gain more traction before the first "real," working, self-driving car takes to the road. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 69 of 103
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member




    All Apple has to do is to buy all of BMW for about $65 BILLION and turn it into a subsidiary of Apple.
    Then Apple can have all of BMW's expertise and manufacturing capability.
    Then Apple can modify BMW's cars to its heart's content.

    No.  If the Apple car looks like any of these it will be a fail.  This picture is a good example of what's WRONG with the car industry, not what's right.  

    Your statement is the equivalent of having a conversation with Henry Ford in 1905 about his new invention and telling him that all he has to do is purchase the leading horse buggy company and "call it done."  

    Electric cars have a long history of innovation.  If they make one that looks like these, then they would instead be doing what Elon Musk (and Neil Young) has already done.  

    And that's not innovation at all.  That's just putting a big f*cking battery in an otherwise "regular" car.  
    edited January 2016 tallest skilpalomine
  • Reply 70 of 103
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,333member
    Rayz2016 said:
    If this is true it's a big deal. This guy is a 16 year Apple vet who ran iPod and iPhone engineering before allegedly being put on the car project.
    He's also named on a lot of liquid metal patents which, so far, has produced a pin. 

    iirc there are a few "ex Apple" engineers at Liquidmetal. Not saying that's what's happening, but it is a possibility.
    palomine
  • Reply 71 of 103
    thrangthrang Posts: 766member
    Apple survived and prospered even after Jobs himself was gone...a little perspective here...no one is irreplaceable...


    nolamacguy
  • Reply 72 of 103
    thrang said:
    Apple survived and prospered even after Jobs himself was gone...a little perspective here...no one is irreplaceable...


    They haven't developed or innovated anything since his death.  If you want to say the watch, the sales on the watch are underwhelming for sure.  

    This is the first year that iPhone growth has petered out and while forecasts aren't that great my suspicion is that people are seeing less and less reasons to upgrade.  So they now need to come up with the next product.  The watch isn't it. While no one is irreplacable the question is, is Tim Cook the guy? 
    stevie
  • Reply 73 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,712member
    foggyhill said:
    Apple has, in the past, made some seriously bad product decisions--the Lisa comes to mind. Building an electric car probably falls in the same basket. It is not for nothing that almost all truly successful autos are designed and manufactured by companies that are already in the business of designing and building cars, trucks buses and the like. Tesla is an anomaly (and they are not yet a going, self-sustaining car company).
    Right... Something 30 years ago... That's entirely relevant to Apple now.

    There's plenty of company that made the transition from selling something else, to cars,
     just none recently (mostly because it takes much more capitals now than in the 1950-1960s).

    You kind of forget that the car is becoming a CONSUMER ELECTRONIC DEVICE.

    If god damn Google and Uber! can put a car on the road, google! And Amazon can get into manning fleet of drones.... (sic)
    I don't know how Apple could do worse than them. Seriously?
    Uber has a bit of experience in software and that's it.
    Google, 100 different moonshots, tries everything, good at next to nothing; hardware? Not that great. Software? OK, nothing to write home about.



    This is the car Google has put on the road so far:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/google-self-driving-cars-autonomous-driving-is-a-way-off-new-figures-show-a6827501.html

    Looks worse than a fucking toy. This is hardly anything Apple should strive for.
    Also this one. None are intended for consumers, they're for software testing. 
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/cdgQpa1pUUE/maxresdefault.jpg

    The first iPhone to be sold to the public didn't look like this very early prototype either. Fortunately for you Apple didn't give up on it. 
    http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/iphoneprototype2.jpg

    edited January 2016
  • Reply 74 of 103
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,091moderator
    steviet02 said:

    Read back my comment. I didn't say Elon Musk started Tesla. I said he is leading the charge...

     And if having an engineering background is all that's required to gain other's confidence in one's ability to be involved in innovation of the automobile, well, I imagine there are quite a number of people with engineering backgrounds at Apple.
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.

    It's fairly well understood how to design a car.  We're not talking about a Mars rover.  And electric cars are actually easier to design than ICE cars.  There literally are small shops, many in CA, that pull together off-the-shelf components and create bespoke ICE cars, that are fully registerable for the road.  Just to be clear, the difficulty in designing a car is NOT in designing a machine for the road.  It's in designing a machine that can be efficiently manufactured in very large quantities.  

    The problem of designing mass-market automobiles is one of designing the car for manufacturing scale and supply chain efficiency, which is precisely the talent that the man Steve Jobs chose as his successor has, in spades and at a world-beating level.

    TIM COOK AND HIS OPERATIONS LIEUTENANTS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN APPLE'S AUTOMOTIVE AMBITIONS

    That's worth putting in all-caps (not shouting, but rather writing a future headline).
    edited January 2016 nolamacguypalomine
  • Reply 75 of 103
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    steviet02 said:
    thrang said:
    Apple survived and prospered even after Jobs himself was gone...a little perspective here...no one is irreplaceable...


    They haven't developed or innovated anything since his death.  If you want to say the watch, the sales on the watch are underwhelming for sure.  

    This is the first year that iPhone growth has petered out and while forecasts aren't that great my suspicion is that people are seeing less and less reasons to upgrade.  So they now need to come up with the next product.  The watch isn't it. While no one is irreplacable the question is, is Tim Cook the guy? 

    Well, to be fair it's only been 4 years since Jobs died, and we learned in Decemeber that the Watch was started while Jobs was still alive. So they've had a lot of Jobsian products already in the pipeline to crank out. And as far as the watch is concerned, it's still far too early to write that one off. Which means, there's been four years durning which the next big thing is being engineered, while the rest of us have been distracted by the watch, and rumors of a car. Keep in mind it was 3 years from the iMac to the iPod, 6 years to the iPhone, and 3 years to the iPad. And during all that time, there were some pretty amazing innovations within each major project group, which shouldn't be dismissed -- many of which went on to factor in subsequent products.

    So far I'd say on the order of major product introductions, Apple is following its previous history of innovation fairly reasonably. Everything Apple has released until now has seen the hand of Jobs in it, and who knows how many more new products in development may have begun under Jobs? But at this point, id argue we still haven't seen what Apple can do without Jobs, and while I think they are still doing fine, I'd say they need to introduce something successfully groundbreaking within the next two years.
    canukstorm
  • Reply 76 of 103
    steviet02 said:
    Fair enough, and I stated in another post, that I realized they have hired Tesla Engineers and battery pack engineers so while I believe they have some talent, I'm not sure it's the right talent to design a car.  Elon Musks engineering and physics background was pretty extensive, if you haven't watched his bio or read about his background you should check it out, interesting.

    But look at it from a business standpoint, and Apples history in particular. Apples margins are crazy, ~50% and up in most cases.  The car business is a much different animal, assuming consumer facing, on margin levels that Apple would laugh at. Thats one of the reasons why Tesla isn't really profiting right now, it costs them too much for the battery packs.  I don't imagine Apple would be making their own, but if they do maybe thats where they save manufacturing costs, but the R&D costs outweigh that savings considering where LG and Panasonic are already. 

    Lets assume that some of the assumptions are correct, this chief had been put under unrealistic pressure and deadlines.  As a shareholder thats what concerns me about this particular post is that a 16 year veteran who has zero background in managing the design of a car was put in charge of it and not one person above him understands what it takes to build a car, let alone him.  It's an assumption but that part about unrealistic deadlines is what concerns me most.

    It's fairly well understood how to design a car.  We're not talking about a Mars rover.  And electric cars are actually easier to design than ICE cars.  There literally are small shops, many in CA, that pull together off-the-shelf components and create bespoke ICE cars, that are fully registerable for the road.  Just to be clear, the difficulty in designing a car is NOT in designing a machine for the road.  It's in designing a machine that can be efficiently manufactured in very large quantities.  

    The problem of designing mass-market automobiles is one of designing the car for manufacturing scale and supply chain efficiency, which is precisely the talent that the man Steve Jobs chose as his successor has, in spades and at a world-beating level.

    TIM COOK AND HIS OPERATIONS LIEUTENANTS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN APPLE'S AUTOMOTIVE AMBITIONS

    That's worth putting in all-caps (not shouting, but rather writing a future headline).
    I disagree with you, completely.  It's not understood how to make a PROFITABLE, electric car that can be sold to the masses at a reasonable range, price point, and profit margin.  Especially at the margins Apple currently enjoys.  No one has been successful at it yet. These aren't $600 phones which is where apples leverage comes from.  They can get the suppliers down in cost because they can guarantee a large qty of sales and purchase a lot up front. 

    Millions of people aren't going to flock to an electric car because Apple is putting it out there  The national mindset when it comes to electric cars, price, range, time to charge, and how often families buy cars isn't the same as cell phones and computers.  

    The  infrastructure for fast charging, service, stores to test drive these vehicles needs to be in place.  More than just designing and building too. 

    This has already gotten off the track of the original point. I don't care how good they are at procuring material if they can't set the tasks and goals appropriately it means the design will suffer. 

  • Reply 77 of 103
    mac_128 said:
    Well, to be fair it's only been 4 years since Jobs died, and we learned in Decemeber that the Watch was started while Jobs was still alive. So they've had a lot of Jobsian products already in the pipeline to crank out. And as far as the watch is concerned, it's still far too early to write that one off. Which means, there's been four years durning which the next big thing is being engineered, while the rest of us have been distracted by the watch, and rumors of a car. Keep in mind it was 3 years from the iMac to the iPod, 6 years to the iPhone, and 3 years to the iPad. And during all that time, there were some pretty amazing innovations within each major project group, which shouldn't be dismissed -- many of which went on to factor in subsequent products.

    So far I'd say on the order of major product introductions, Apple is following its previous history of innovation fairly reasonably. Everything Apple has released until now has seen the hand of Jobs in it, and who knows how many more new products in development may have begun under Jobs? But at this point, id argue we still haven't seen what Apple can do without Jobs, and while I think they are still doing fine, I'd say they need to introduce something successfully groundbreaking within the next two years.
    You're right about watch. The iPod didn't take off until iTunes for Windows was released.  I agree with everything you wrote. 
  • Reply 78 of 103
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,091moderator
    steviet02 said:

    It's fairly well understood how to design a car.  We're not talking about a Mars rover.  And electric cars are actually easier to design than ICE cars.  There literally are small shops, many in CA, that pull together off-the-shelf components and create bespoke ICE cars, that are fully registerable for the road.  Just to be clear, the difficulty in designing a car is NOT in designing a machine for the road.  It's in designing a machine that can be efficiently manufactured in very large quantities.  

    The problem of designing mass-market automobiles is one of designing the car for manufacturing scale and supply chain efficiency, which is precisely the talent that the man Steve Jobs chose as his successor has, in spades and at a world-beating level.

    TIM COOK AND HIS OPERATIONS LIEUTENANTS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN APPLE'S AUTOMOTIVE AMBITIONS

    That's worth putting in all-caps (not shouting, but rather writing a future headline).
    I disagree with you, completely.  It's not understood how to make a PROFITABLE, electric car that can be sold to the masses at a reasonable range, price point, and profit margin.  Especially at the margins Apple currently enjoys.  No one has been successful at it yet. These aren't $600 phones which is where apples leverage comes from.  They can get the suppliers down in cost because they can guarantee a large qty of sales and purchase a lot up front. 

    Millions of people aren't going to flock to an electric car because Apple is putting it out there  The national mindset when it comes to electric cars, price, range, time to charge, and how often families buy cars isn't the same as cell phones and computers.  

    The  infrastructure for fast charging, service, stores to test drive these vehicles needs to be in place.  More than just designing and building too. 

    This has already gotten off the track of the original point. I don't care how good they are at procuring material if they can't set the tasks and goals appropriately it means the design will suffer. 


    As I indicated in an earlier comment...

     Apple might be looking to disrupt the nascent car-as-a-service segment, which has the potential to become a very large slice of the future of personal transportation. This would imply Apple would build functional vehicles with stylish but durable interiors, keeping costs down. The cars would represent a recurring revenue service rather than a one-time sale, and the market is represented by every dense population center around the world. Apple needs only create a few centralized charging depots at strategic locations near a population center, then unleash a swarm of Apple cars to serve that geographic area. Tight integration with an iPhone and Watch app would allow users to request a car, indicating their destination, either for immediate pickup or future pickup, calculated to ensure arrival at a specified time. Toss in regularly scheduled pickups, like taking the kids to school daily, and Apple could optimize the utilization, driving revenues and profits.  The possibilities to create a seemless car service are coming into focus, as is the technology. This is where I think Apple is going.

     If the above is where Apple is headed, then they won't need to sell the cars.  No worries about stores, fights with states over dealership networks, etc.   No worries about drivers concerned about range anxiety, as each vehicle in the swarm self-monitors and takes itself offline (so that it cannot be summoned) until after its had time to return to one of a few depots Apple would maintain to charge itself.  Flexible and intelligent scheduling (which happens to be something I'm a pioneer in, having a couple patents in the field and having founded TimeTrade and designed all its scheduling software) is a huge part of this potential future.  If anyone is capable of pulling it off, it's Apple, already having the premium audience carrying its smartphones and wearing its watches.  In the future, there will be an app for car-as-a-service, and it'll likely as not be one of Apple's built-in apps, connected to Apple's automated fleet.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 79 of 103
    I read that before, I didn't address it because I don't want to seem argumentative. But, that's not going to happen in the next two years, definitely not at the scale you are talking about. 
  • Reply 80 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,712member
    steviet02 said:

    It's fairly well understood how to design a car.  We're not talking about a Mars rover.  And electric cars are actually easier to design than ICE cars.  There literally are small shops, many in CA, that pull together off-the-shelf components and create bespoke ICE cars, that are fully registerable for the road.  Just to be clear, the difficulty in designing a car is NOT in designing a machine for the road.  It's in designing a machine that can be efficiently manufactured in very large quantities.  

    The problem of designing mass-market automobiles is one of designing the car for manufacturing scale and supply chain efficiency, which is precisely the talent that the man Steve Jobs chose as his successor has, in spades and at a world-beating level.

    TIM COOK AND HIS OPERATIONS LIEUTENANTS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN APPLE'S AUTOMOTIVE AMBITIONS

    That's worth putting in all-caps (not shouting, but rather writing a future headline).
    I disagree with you, completely.  It's not understood how to make a PROFITABLE, electric car that can be sold to the masses at a reasonable range, price point, and profit margin.  Especially at the margins Apple currently enjoys.  No one has been successful at it yet. These aren't $600 phones which is where apples leverage comes from.  They can get the suppliers down in cost because they can guarantee a large qty of sales and purchase a lot up front. 

    Millions of people aren't going to flock to an electric car because Apple is putting it out there  The national mindset when it comes to electric cars, price, range, time to charge, and how often families buy cars isn't the same as cell phones and computers.  

    The  infrastructure for fast charging, service, stores to test drive these vehicles needs to be in place.  More than just designing and building too. 

    This has already gotten off the track of the original point. I don't care how good they are at procuring material if they can't set the tasks and goals appropriately it means the design will suffer. 


    As I indicated in an earlier comment...

     Apple might be looking to disrupt the nascent car-as-a-service segment, which has the potential to become a very large slice of the future of personal transportation. This would imply Apple would build functional vehicles with stylish but durable interiors, keeping costs down. The cars would represent a recurring revenue service rather than a one-time sale, and the market is represented by every dense population center around the world. Apple needs only create a few centralized charging depots at strategic locations near a population center, then unleash a swarm of Apple cars to serve that geographic area. Tight integration with an iPhone and Watch app would allow users to request a car, indicating their destination, either for immediate pickup or future pickup, calculated to ensure arrival at a specified time. Toss in regularly scheduled pickups, like taking the kids to school daily, and Apple could optimize the utilization, driving revenues and profits.  The possibilities to create a seemless car service are coming into focus, as is the technology. This is where I think Apple is going.

     If the above is where Apple is headed, then they won't need to sell the cars.  No worries about stores, fights with states over dealership networks, etc.   No worries about drivers concerned about range anxiety, as each vehicle in the swarm self-monitors and takes itself offline (so that it cannot be summoned) until after its had time to return to one of a few depots Apple would maintain to charge itself.  Flexible and intelligent scheduling (which happens to be something I'm a pioneer in, having a couple patents in the field and having founded TimeTrade and designed all its scheduling software) is a huge part of this potential future.  If anyone is capable of pulling it off, it's Apple, already having the premium audience carrying its smartphones and wearing its watches.  In the future, there will be an app for car-as-a-service, and it'll likely as not be one of Apple's built-in apps, connected to Apple's automated fleet.
    I'd agree with you Radar. From appearances that's where GM, Ford, Uber and Google are all heading. Not so much one car/one person but more of an Uber-type car-on-demand service. Apple probably looking the same direction IMHO. 
    radarthekat
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