Is Apple's Reinvented CarPlay A Preview Of Cupertino's EV? Gurman Sees A Serious Challenger To Tesla

Zinger Key Points
  • The new CarPlay feature Apple announced could be the company testing the waters before the Apple Car arrival.
  • The Apple Car project is progressing at an effective pace under new leadership.
  • An Apple Car could become a serious challenger to Tesla

Apple's launch of a new version of CarPlay at the Worldwide Developers Conference last Monday was a preview of the Apple Car, Bloomberg columnist Marc Gurman said in his weekly Power On newsletter.

New CarPlay Features Heralding Apple Car? This is typical of Apple, the columnist said. Before beginning work on a major new product category, the company releases something that will function as a foundation, he added. To make his case, Gurman noted that Apple launched iTunes 10 months before the iPod arrived, and it announced the HealthKit and Health app before unveiling the Apple Watch.

Apple's Pressure Tactics: CarPlay is the most tantalizing announcement from the 2022 WWDC, Gurman said. The Apple writer does not expect the new CarPlay system to be on public roads until 2024. Apple's announcement well ahead of the system's implementation is seen by Gurman as a means for pressuring automakers to adopt the software.

"It's a source of tension," he said.

Some automakers may not want Apple to take over their interface, particularly because the software will ultimately be used in a future car they have to compete with, Gurman said.

He noted that the new CarPlay can more than just control Apple apps and can potentially replace a car's instrument clusters, radio, temperature controls and more.

"It also looks more like an entirely new operating system than just a next-generation version of CarPlay," Gurman said.

Related Link: No 'Headline-Grabbing' Announcements, But Apple's WWDC Keynote Had Substance: Analysts

Apple Testing Waters For Car? Apple is planning to bring the CarPlay interface to third-party cars despite planning its own self-driving car that would use the same approach, the columnist said. This could be due to the company wanting to preview its Apple Car features to users and entice them into buying when the car finally arrives, he suggested.

Apple could also want to learn about the auto industry and collect necessary data for its own ride, Gurman said.

Related Link: Why Cupertino Could Get Its Act Together With Its 'Apple Car' Project

Apple Car Update: Despite the executive and engineering talent exodus from the Apple Car project team, development of a vehicle is moving forward, Gurman said.

He also learned that Apple is negotiating supply-chain deals for car parts and overall manufacturing. Kevin Lynch, the new head of the car project, has brought in some of his trusted aides from the Apple Watch group to develop the car, he added.

Lynch has now been able to hit deadlines that the team might have missed under the previous leadership, Gurman said, citing sources.

Apple has put in place some of the industry's best design minds, including Aston Martin interiors manager Duncan Taylor, ex-Aston Martin chief concept engineer Pete Jolley, former Tesla, Inc. TSLA exteriors and interiors vice president Steve MacManus and ex-Porsche executive Manfred Harrer, Gurman said.

It's doubtful that Apple will meet its goal of shipping an autonomous car by 2025, but it would at least announce it by then, the Apple writer said.

"Even without self-driving capabilities, a well-designed Apple car with all of the iPhone's bells and whistles could quickly become a serious challenger to Tesla Inc," Gurman said.

Apple closed Friday's session down 3.86% at $137.13, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo: Courtesy of Hani Arif on Flickr

Posted In: NewsTechMediaelectric vehiclesMark Gurman