Speaking to Business Insider this week, Mickey Drexler, the CEO of J.Crew and a member of Apple’s board, said “Look at the car industry; it’s a tragedy in America. Who is designing the cars? Steve’s dream before he died was to design an iCar.”
Although Apple has been rather successful in the technology sector, it would certainly be a challenge to break into the automotive field. No doubt the “iCar” would be designed by Apple in California and built in China, like the rest of the “i” range.
Mr Drexler goes on to claim that if Steve Jobs had designed an iCar, it would have likely taken 50 per cent of the market. A rather bold claim given no one particular vehicle currently comes close to that figure. Nonetheless, it’s fair to point out that before the iPod existed, no music player ever came close to that figure either.
Apple, the world’s second most valuable company, is unlikely to build its own cars any time soon, however it’s increasingly likely to cooperate with automotive manufacturers to further integrate its range of “i” products. We find it a challenge to get behind the wheel of a modern vehicle and not see an iPod connector, now that it has become the industry standard music interface.
Nonetheless, the integration goes much deeper than just a connector. For example, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class integrates the iPhone’s operating system (iOS) to the extent where Siri, the personal voice assistant, can be used via the COMAND infotainment system.
Could Steve Jobs really have designed a market-dominating iCar? What other non-automotive company would you like to see design a car?