Apple CEO Tim Cook & Didi Chuxing's president tour Beijing Apple Store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the president of taxi/ridesharing service Didi Chuxing, Jean Liu, visited an Apple Store in Beijing on Monday morning, just days after Apple's confirmation of a $1 billion investment into Didi.




The main purpose of Cook's visit to Beijing was for an App Store "developer activity," reported the state-controlled China Daily. The heads of several app-related firms were said to be at the gathering, and Cook later told the Daily that Chinese app developers have so far reaped over $7 billion, half of that in the last 12 months.

On the Didi Chuxing deal, Cook reportedly said that Apple made its investment because Didi "has a very great management team," and "its objective is also environmental, hoping to help reduce pollutions [sic] by making more efficient use of cars."

That could further fuel speculation that the deal is connected to Apple's electric car project, particularly if and when a self-driving model rolls off assembly lines. Apple could be hoping to sell vehicles into Didi's fleet, and ridesharing services in general are expected to make the shift to self-driving cars since they cut down on human labor costs.

Previously Cook claimed that the Didi investment happened "for a number of strategic reasons," including "a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market."

The Daily added that it was unknown whether Cook would meet with any high-level government officials during his latest Chinese trip, as rumored. In April the government shut down the local iTunes Movies and iBooks Stores, something Cook would presumably work to reverse as soon as possible.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    mejsricmejsric Posts: 133member
    Car will change the auto industry. Tesla will be the next Blackberry and Samsung will still the fast follower.
    edited May 2016 lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 17
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


  • Reply 3 of 17
    vision33rvision33r Posts: 210member
    It'll be the next biggest flop for Apple.  
  • Reply 4 of 17
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,282member

    On the Didi Chuxing deal, Cook reportedly said that Apple made its investment because Didi "has a very great management team," and "its objective is also environmental, hoping to help reduce pollutions [sic] by making more efficient use of cars."
    I think, frankly, that the car project is a race against time for Apple. They probably want to offer a solution for China before everyone gets wealthy enough to own a car. Traffic in China is pretty bad enough as it is. It will break down if everyone gets a car. If Apple can make it desirable not to own a car, then they're onto something huge. Then, of course, the rest of the world is an untapped potential market for this Didi/ Uber mentality.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 17
    reiszriereiszrie Posts: 15member
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    Ferrari has no valuable IP for electric cars hence buying Ferrari outright and not having an interest in furthering the traditional business-lines of creating supercars makes Ferrari a bad choice for acquisition, instead Apple could simply lure Pininfarina and Ferrari's designers to utilise their expertise in designing cars.
    robertwaltercaliradarthekatbaconstang
  • Reply 6 of 17
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    Ferrari, the brand so strong that some commenters misspell it!

    Apple doesn't need a niche vehicle producer catering to 1%-er wannabes, Apple's bag is high volume premium products and experience. 

    The acquisitions Apple needs to make are in the realm of materials and electrical propulsion component IP with a market USP, not a vehicle manufacturer specialized in (obsolete technology) Otto cycle engines and mechanical transmissions.  After that, Apple can decide if it wants to assemble the car itself or outsource that to an OEM or contract vehicle assembler. 
  • Reply 7 of 17
    teejay2012teejay2012 Posts: 277member
    I just returned from business in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai, and everything that is said about China's traffic issues are true. Closed my eyes at times being driven around! You enter a lottery to buy a car even if you have money, but I am not sure if this is due to the congestion on the streets or if this is an attempt to limit pollution - if the latter, then an electric car makes sense. Even electric scooters. Car prices are very high as is gas, so if Apple gets into this they will definitely need an economic advantage within China. That would require a Chinese partner so this new investment makes sense. As an aside, where I traveled, there were many many iPhones and the price of higher end Android phones was not very different from iPhones.
    irelandbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 17
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,832member
    palegolas said:

    On the Didi Chuxing deal, Cook reportedly said that Apple made its investment because Didi "has a very great management team," and "its objective is also environmental, hoping to help reduce pollutions [sic] by making more efficient use of cars."
    I think, frankly, that the car project is a race against time for Apple. They probably want to offer a solution for China before everyone gets wealthy enough to own a car. Traffic in China is pretty bad enough as it is. It will break down if everyone gets a car. If Apple can make it desirable not to own a car, then they're onto something huge. Then, of course, the rest of the world is an untapped potential market for this Didi/ Uber mentality.
    EV penetration is so minimal now that it might be a decade or more before there is any barrier for a new entrant.

    From a technology standpoint, there isn't anything that Tesla is doing that can't be matched by an incumbent, one of the majors, a new entrant, or one of the technology companies like Apple, LG or Samsung. Tesla has a headstart, and mindshare, but has hardly penetrated the market, and other entrants aren't seeing Tesla's sales.

    Apple has plenty of time to define their niche, and create, manufacture and test various concepts for manufacture by the end of the decade. The real issue, and this applies to Tesla and everyone else, is whether there will be much if any profit, or whether EV's will be just a piece of an increasingly large ecosystem, in the case of Tesla, electrical storage and a renewable charging infrastructure, or in Apple's case, an extension of an existing lifestyle ecosystem.
    calibaconstangbadmonk
  • Reply 9 of 17
    mejsric said:
    Car will change the auto industry. Tesla will be the next Blackberry and Samsung will still the fast follower.
    And who will be the next Apple? Because we all know Apple is already the new Microsoft
  • Reply 10 of 17
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    How is iPhone a luxury brand when it has about 50% share in its home market? More like a good quality Toyota than a Ferrari. Its marketing machine has worked if it makes middle-class consumers think they own the Ferrari of phones just because they paid so much for it.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,114moderator
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    How is iPhone a luxury brand when it has about 50% share in its home market? More like a good quality Toyota than a Ferrari. Its marketing machine has worked if it makes middle-class consumers think they own the Ferrari of phones just because they paid so much for it.

    ---

     a luxury brand might be defined as being that for which there is no better.  In that respect the iPhone is certainly a luxury brand.  Price is not the defining factor.
    calibaconstangbadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    How is iPhone a luxury brand when it has about 50% share in its home market? More like a good quality Toyota than a Ferrari. Its marketing machine has worked if it makes middle-class consumers think they own the Ferrari of phones just because they paid so much for it.

    ---

     a luxury brand might be defined as being that for which there is no better.  In that respect the iPhone is certainly a luxury brand.  Price is not the defining factor.
    People's willingness to pay a higher price because of a perceived value, many times real, is what makes a luxury brand.
    There are reasons those brands became luxury brands; it's not just marketing like many fandroids think (Ironic when you consider Samsung is one of the biggest marketing spender on the planet).

    Apple offers a well perceived good product that no one can offer (no real alternative) thus it can price it higher.
    I find it funny that people always think people that buy Luxury brands all are stupid despite most often being the most educated.

    Many in the middle class think it's the Lexus of Phones (closest match in perceived quality and mass market appeal) or maybe BMW (more aspirational than a Lexus but with a reliability trade-off compared to Lexus).
    caliireland
  • Reply 13 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Something just dawned on me,
    this may be obvious to some readers but I just noticed Tim Cook won't acquire a company unless the company's leaders are really intelligent and he believes in them and their vision. It's more than the company being a neat idea, the people behind it have to be a driving force and good addition to the Apple.

    Looks like part of the Didi investment was due to how intelligent this president is. Looks like they're ready to take on the future of taxi services.
    baconstangirelandbadmonk
  • Reply 14 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,789member
    radarthekat said:
    a luxury brand might be defined as being that for which there is no better.  In that respect the iPhone is certainly a luxury brand.  Price is not the defining factor.
    Price differential is certainly a defining factor for something to be considered luxury. To me a luxury product is something that is simply extravagant, although the exact definition of luxury is a bit difficult to pin down. I do not consider an iPhone extravagant. There are only maybe four or five smartphones to choose from and they all cost about the same. After two years they will all be mostly worthless. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 15 of 17
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,996member
    What makes the most sense for Apple to do, is to buy a European Car manufacturer for strategic reasons.  Something like Ferari with recognizable brand name and expertise in business. Ferari is clearly a luxury brand like iPhone. This way both internal and external design geniuses of both the companies can be tapped to create a car that everybody would love to have. Cost would be an issue requiring different models so that people can afford to buy or share!


    How is iPhone a luxury brand when it has about 50% share in its home market? More like a good quality Toyota than a Ferrari. Its marketing machine has worked if it makes middle-class consumers think they own the Ferrari of phones just because they paid so much for it.
    To be a luxury the most important criteria is there are much cheaper inferior alternatives.  
    caliireland
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Price of doing business in China. Indirect pay off...  :neutral: 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 819member
    cali said:
    Something just dawned on me,
    this may be obvious to some readers but I just noticed Tim Cook won't acquire a company unless the company's leaders are really intelligent and he believes in them and their vision. It's more than the company being a neat idea, the people behind it have to be a driving force and good addition to the Apple.

    Looks like part of the Didi investment was due to how intelligent this president is. Looks like they're ready to take on the future of taxi services.
    http://b.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/1280/poster/2016/04/3058968-poster-p-1-most-creative-people-jean-liu.jpg

    She is also a complete hottie!
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