1How Apple Could Build a Successful Electric Car Business
2Apple Branding Is Absolutely Necessary
An Apple car can only be successful if Apple’s branding is on it. There is some talk that the company would build technology that would run in another company’s car design, but that’s a bad idea. The smart move would be to offer an Apple-branded vehicle to customers and try its luck in the vehicle industry. Anything short of that and Apple may not be able to succeed in the hotly contested market.
3Make It an Electric Vehicle
There will be no gas in a successful Apple car. Apple, after all, is in the computer and electronics business. It built its business on visionary technology and the company says it cares about the environment. There is no possible way the company can keep that reputation if it offers a gas-guzzling sedan. Apple’s car must be an electric vehicle or the public will ignore it.
4Self-Driving Technology Makes Sense
Apple has reportedly already started testing self-driving cars, so it would only make sense for the company to offer that option in any vehicle it eventually launches. Some of the top car brands in the world, including Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, are developing self-driving technology, so Apple’s car—which is likely years off—should follow suit.
5Don’t Make It an iOS-Only Car
Apple is well-known for making sure that its mobile devices and computer hardware only run with its operating systems. But that would be a bad idea in the car business. While Apple might naturally want the infotainment system in its brand-name car to run on iOS, the company should make it easy for other mobile operating systems, including Android, Windows and BlackBerry OS, to work with the cars, as well. To do otherwise would only limit an Apple car’s sales and appeal.
6Find Partners for Charging Stations
One of the most important aspects of building a full-fledged electric vehicle company is providing access to plenty of charging stations. As it did with Apple Pay, Apple must partner with third-party companies to install charging stations at convenient locations. The more charging stations it can deploy, the faster it can ramp up car sales. If there are no charging stations in key locations, Apple will be out of luck in the car business.
7Have Genius Bars Ready for Car Service, Support
A major asset for Apple is its Genius Bar, a place where people can go to get their products fixed when they’re broken. The issue with cars, however, is that vehicles aren’t so easy to fix. That’s where the Geniuses can help. Apple can enlist Geniuses to go to customer homes to fix problems, if necessary, or run outside the store if the cars can be brought to an Apple retail location. Even better, geniuses can hold classes with new customers, teaching them how to use all the gadgets in their cars.
8A Design Only Jony Ive Can Conceive
If Apple is to be successful in cars, the company must build a vehicle that’s actually good looking. And as history has proven, Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive knows what he’s doing when it comes to building good-looking innovative products. Apple should get Ive to design a car in the Apple style and make it one of the best-looking and most recognizable on the road. With Ive behind the design wheel, Apple would have a much better chance of success.
9Apple Must Apply Its Design, Marketing and Sales Formula to Its Cars
Steve Jobs taught the world one important lesson during the years he was Apple’s CEO. There is a formula in Cupertino for building excitement around its products that makes people want to buy them. It’s apparent that Apple is following that formula for its car initiative by maintaining tight official secrecy about the project, while perhaps discreetly dropping a few hints in alert ears to keep the rumor mills churning. If Apple is serious about getting into the car business, we may hear plans for another blockbuster product introduction in a year or two.
10Sell Them in Apple Stores and Online
Apple already has retail locations around the world, and as Tesla has proven, selling cars online, is actually quite simple. Therefore, Apple should sell its cars both in-store and online. The car-buying premise would be identical to picking an iPhone. Customers choose the version they want and plunk down the cash or their credit information for a loan or lease. Building brick-and-mortar auto dealerships is a costly business that Apple shouldn’t deal with. The company already has a retail brick-and-mortar infrastructure. It should use that to its advantage.
11More Technical Know-How From Tesla
Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims he has stolen Apple engineers to help him build his electric cars, and now Apple is trying to get them back. The time has come for Apple to up the ante. Tesla knows what it’s doing in cars and has built a big business from the ground up. Apple needs to hire away the best talent at Tesla and put them to work on Apple’s own car.