We certainly have come a long way from the Apple 2 computer. In people’s hands are a 1 Ghz or more ( even quad core) computing device in the shape of their iPhone from Apple and its sort of Open Source Clone – Android powered cell phones and tablets. Open source or closed source (propriety) , simple integration with apps from phones – or fuller more specialized appliance functions with really integrated built in operating systems like Apple’s new OS for the automotive transportation and vehicular platforms be they car , truck ,van , bus or SUV.
Yet in spite of problems and concerns with brand differentiation a number of major upscale auto brands have taken the bait. Automotive brands planning to use iOS in their vehicles are Chevrolet, Ferrari, Opel, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Honda, Volvo, Acura (upscale Honda) , Hyundai, Kia and Jaguar, according to Apple. You can bet that Ford Ford-Lincoln as well as Dodge / Chrysler are either in negotiations with Apple or have systems of their own which they feel have their own advantages that are inherent to their driving public.
To its credit Apple provides ultra functional software that most people find intuitive. How many users of iPhones and iPads have you heard complain of learning to use the software system, “bugs” with software or had post cognitive sales dissonance harping that they overpaid and should of not paid the premium for the product buying a less expensive substitute instead.
The answer is very few indeed. On top of that Apple products are fashion items with planned obsolesce of product before it “wears out” with the Apple cult like buyer just “having to have” the newest and latest product that just “came out”. Even Apple”s obvious attempt with the iPhone 5 to obsolete peripherals with a new connector received little notice.
In the same way that Apple does software , while controlling and integrating the hardware – they will also have the same game with auto makers. OEM hardware is built in. Little else can be substituted on-board. The product will work “like a fax machine “ or reliable Ford truck - being made for that purpose and use alone. Its not as if 3rd party or non-approved hardware – as you might find with android phones with a loose open source open operating system is used.
For product differentiation among the cars, trucks & SUVs different interfaces , colors and even different schemes and methods of operation may be employed – all to make the consumer think that the electronics in their Ford Edge is different and distinct from the high end European Porsche or Jaguar sports car they just purchased. Driving safety overall, will definitely be enhanced. Yet will these products will be built in as standard features of a new car , or will they be expensive options ?
Its a win win situation both for the auto manufacturer and consumer.
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