In January we released information regarding an Apple Special Event for February 24. However, that event has now materialized for March 9th at 10 AM in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Apple has just sent out invitations to select media.
Interestingly, this is a Monday, not a Tuesday which Apple has traditionally held events. For more information on what will be announced, you can review our information here.
In an interview released by Motoring, Mercedes-Benz CEO, Dieter Zetsche, warned Apple that entering the automobile market would be a great error in judgment. This is an interesting statement since Mercedes-Benz’ recently lost its North American research and development chief, Johann Jungwirth, to Apple to work on Titan (the project name for Apple's Car). Apparently Mr. Zetsche and Mr. Jungwirth have different value systems in what makes a good decision and what doesn’t.
When asked whether Zetsche was worried about Apple entering the automobile market, he responded by saying,
Getting well beyond the rumors of an Apple designed car, and thoughts of its possible mileage breakthroughs or handling, I began to wonder what the experience of an Apple created car would be like. Cars are an extension of our personality, or perhaps more importantly, an expression of how we wants to be seen by others. Cars are personal and emotional. We spend years of our lives within a car, and thus they tend to be a big deal.
Steve Jobs always groused about how there were concept cars which looked amazing, and how he would buy one today — if it were available. But when that car finally went on sale it looked like everything else out there. Apple has always never valued the auto laden world of focus groups and has instead relied on their own internal abilities to ferret out good designs from the poor. An Apple vehicle would likely follow this same philosophy.
Rumors continue to heat up that a new MacBook Air is just around the corner, as European dealers noted Apple has stopped restock shipment requests for the popular laptop. In addition Apple has approved the lowering of exiting U.S. supplies in order to clear channel inventory.
This can only mean one of two things: Apple is discontinuing the MacBook Air or they have an updated version that is to ship soon. We highly doubt this will change will include a rumored 12" MacBook Air model as such a shift would demand a special event to kick off the new laptop. Instead we can expect Apple to update the current 11" and 13" MacBook Air models with the latest Broadwell chipset from Intel. Pricing is likely to remain static unless Apple has seen softness in demand and needs to stimulate the product line.
It’s time to butter both sides of the bread, because Mark & Werner provide another hour of hilarity while helping you become smarter at the same time... really.
Apple CEO Tim Cook conducted an interview a few weeks ago at the Goldman Sachs technology conference. Cook discussed Apple's product line, grid-free power initiatives and the forthcoming Apple Watch (once asked about it). I've listened to Tim Cook interviewed and watched him give presentations dozens of times, just as I had Steve Jobs. There is one thing about each man that becomes abundantly clear. Steve Jobs was a pure genius visionary, while Tim Cook is cunningly smart.
Jobs birthed Apple, was fired, and was then rehired to save it. He did more than just save the company, he drove it to record success. Jobs could simply see things others could not, and he taught his fellow executives to remove the glass ceiling and dogma surrounding large businesses. Jobs had pet projects, such as the ill-fated Cube, and wildly successful iPhone and iPad. Who knows what he had up his sleeve for Television.
If Detroit’s top brass are operating with the same acumen as former General Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, Apple should be tripling their car efforts. Apple taking on Akerson and other automotive "whiz kids" may make former Motorola & Microsoft CEOs (Ed Zander and Steve Ballmer) look like a geniuses.
Earlier this week, Akerson spoke to Bloomberg about rumors of Apple getting into the automotive market. “I think somebody is trying to cough up a Hairball here,” Akerson said. He continued on, talking of how those outside the automotive industry don’t understand it, with the end result being a lot of work for extremely low margins. Akerman ended his comments with a warning to Apple. “They’d better [understand the automobile industry] if they want to get into hard-core manufacturing. We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into a car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.” When asked how he would deal with Apple, his response was “How do they deal with us? That’s the question.” Oh wait, that last comment wasn’t Akerson, it was former Motorola CEO Ed Zander that uttered those disparaging comments against the iPhone. But Akerson’s comments are not falling far from the failed “mock Apple” tree. Perhaps history is about to repeat itself – again.
Gene Munster, connoisseur of Apple’s non-existent next generation Apple branded TV, recently updated his prediction and believes the company will deliver a smart HDTV this fall—or by 2017... Ironically, 2017 is about the timeframe Apple's much rumored car would make it to market. Which direction makes more sense for Tim Cook’s crew?
This past Friday the Wall Street Journal cemented the notion that Apple, Incorporated is actively engaged in designing and building a fully functional car. The assumption is that Apple is aiming to build an all-electric Tesla killer. The pros and cons have already been positioned hundreds of times, with most coming to the following conclusions:
- Apple has the money, followed by why they should — or should not — build a car.
- Tesla and Apple are alike in many ways, thus going after the car business makes sense.
- Apple has the integrated tech know-how in order to build an amazing car
- Apple never made a music player, or a smartphone, and then when they did, Apple dominated both industries. Why not a car?
- Apple is in search of continuing to amass amazing revenue figures that dumbfound the world. A car would help Apple continue to defy the nay-sayers and cement CEO, Tim Cook's legacy.
Beyond the usual financial or technical conclusions, perhaps the biggest reason Apple should enter the car market would be to supercharge their brand.
If rumors come true, expect Apple to send out invitations tomorrow for a Special Event to take place on Tuesday, February 24th. Recently Apple has given short notice between announcements for Special Events and the actual event itself. While seven day is cutting it close, the reasons make sense. First, this Special Event would coincide with what would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. Second, we needed to get beyond the long-holiday Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend in the U.S. Any invitation sent out before then would have had less impact. Announcing tomorrow makes sense in that there will be few, if any, distractions.
Why Apple would hold a Special Event in the middle of the quarter is two fold. First, Apple would spend some time reviewing Apple Watch and showing us a bit more how it works and why we all need one. Apple would also reveal more specifics on pricing, so people can know what their desires will cost them. Second, Apple would use the event to introduce a new 12" device. There has been much speculation that a forthcoming 12" device could be a MacBook Air (to replace both 11" and 13" models) a MacBook Pro or an iPad Pro (here and here).