Gurman, who is a well-sourced, highly accurate Apple reporter, says Apple wants car makers to build docking stations in their cars that connect with the iPhone. Then, Apple's Maps and Siri would be displayed on the consoles of the car instead of the built-in GPS systems.
Anyone who has used Apple's Maps versus the built-in GPS maps on cars knows that Apple Maps looks much, much better. Adding a hands-free option like Siri would be nice, too.
However, Apple's Maps have a very bad reputation. While we've never had any problems with Apple Maps' directions, others have, and the perception exists that Apple Maps are inaccurate. We're not sure how many car makers would be willing to hand that feature over to Apple.
Gurman's headline says this is coming in the next release of iPhone software, but his story cautions a "public release could be potentially be far off."
Apple's desire to take over a car makes sense. It would be another piece of the ecosystem.
But, it looks like a huge, messy challenge. Apple has struggled to fully figure out the TV market. Cars seem like a much bigger, more fragmented market.
Let's run down the reasons we're skeptical this could work:
- Apple is constantly changing technology. What works today isn't going to be supported in five years, probably. Cars last ten years, or more. Do you trust that Apple's iPhone 11 will work in your car? We don't. The iPhone is five years old and it just changed docking cables. Who is to say that won't happen again?
- Siri is not all that good, or safe. Siri doesn't work well at all. Do you want to fiddle with it while driving? You shouldn't. A recent report says Siri is just as dangerous as texting while driving.
- Apple Maps still have kinks, do you trust them?
- There are a lot of different car makes and models out there. Which ones will work with Apple? A handful? Is that enough to make this a key ecosystem piece?
- Android is bigger than iOS. Why are car-makers going to pick the less popular OS, which has tighter restrictions?
This looks like when Apple did the Rokr with Motorola. It tried to add iTunes to a Motorola handset. It wasn't successful, and eventually Apple just did its own phone. Maybe Apple plans on doing its own car eventually.
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