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Gurman says it was more than a software update when Apple announced a new version of CarPlay at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2022) last week - it teased one of the most interesting products in the company's matrix: an electric car.
Mark Gurman highlights that this Apple's move followed a trend. Before launching a big new product category, the company normally introduces a foundational product. For instance, in January 2001 Apple launched iTunes; ten months later the iPod arrived. Besides, in 2014 Apple released HealthKit and the Health app, which predated the Apple Watch’s launch in 2015.
According to Gurman, CarPlay is next on the list. Still, the journalist admits he doesn't think the new CarPlay system will be available for public until 2024, but Apple has no choice but to disclose it in order to encourage automakers to embrace the software. It's a source of contention since some automakers don't want Apple to take over their user interface, and the software could eventually be used in a vehicle with which they must compete.
As Gurman revealed last October, the new CarPlay increases Apple's in-car interface from controlling just Apple apps to controlling the entire vehicle. Apple CarPlay can replace a car's instrument gauges, radio, climate controls, and other features with an Apple interface.
Users can customize the design of their instrument clusters, car screens, and widgets for weather, calendar appointments, journey statistics, time zones, music, and smart-home appliances. Gurman claims it also appears to be a completely new operating system rather than just a more advanced version of CarPlay.
«But the key question», Gurman says, «why would Apple bring this interface to third-party cars if it’s planning its own vehicle with the same approach?». Gurman finds an answear to this question by supposing that Apple wants to show consumers its car chops. It also assists the company in learning about the auto industry and gathering the essential data to assist in the development of its own vehicle.
Additionally, according to the journalist, Apple must continue to provide compelling reasons for users to keep their iPhones and upgrade to new models. According to some estimates, Americans spend an hour per day behind the wheel. If a customer prefers the iPhone's in-car experience, it's another checkbox that will keep them from choosing Apple’s main competitors.
There's also the possibility that CarPlay will become another source of revenue for Apple. Apple currently does not charge manufacturers who utilize CarPlay any royalties or fees. The current approach also necessitates the use of an iPhone.
However, if Apple becomes more involved in the process, the scenario could change. Special components, software, and engineering effort are required for in-vehicle infotainment systems, which are not normally a car manufacturer's core strength. That is why in Gurman’s opinion, some of these tasks will be delegated.
Gurman supposes that if the next version of CarPlay becomes popular enough, Apple could create a version that is built completely into vehicles and doesn’t require an iPhone.
Nevertheless, the process of development of a vehicle is moving forward as, according to Gurman’s insights, Apple is in the process of establishing supply-chain agreements for automobile parts and overall manufacture. Previously Gurman announced that Kevin Lynch, the project's new leader, has enlisted the support of some of his Apple Watch team members to help create the automobile. Besides, Apple has enlisted the help of some of the industry's greatest designers to create the vehicle's final design. Former Aston Martin interiors manager Duncan Taylor, ex-Aston Martin chief concept engineer Pete Jolley, ex-Tesla exteriors and interiors vice president Steve MacManus, and ex-Porsche executive Manfred Harrer are among those who have worked on the project.
Despite the fact that sources familiar with the project doubt Apple will accomplish its goal of releasing a fully driverless car by 2025, the firm remains committed to announcing a vehicle by then. Even if it doesn't have self-driving capabilities, an Apple automobile with all of the iPhone's bells and whistles could swiftly become a formidable competitor to Tesla Inc.
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