You heard it here first, in the next 10 years, the commuter automobile will become an iPhone accessory. Sound crazy? When I bought my last car, the most important feature beyond gas mileage was connectivity to my iPhone. I want my data when and where I want it, period. That includes my phone numbers, addresses, notes, music, audiobooks, navigation, email, web browser links, and on, and on. The car that came closest to seamlessly connecting to my iPhone at the time was the 2012 Ford Focus. So I bought it.
Here’s the deal. All small cars are good now. They all handle about the same, get about the same gas mileage, they all have good warranties and they are all fairly reliable. How do automobiles differentiate when they are all good? They differentiate through connectivity to personal information.
As computers morph into smartphones and data moves from local storage to network storage, personal communicators (Smart Phones) are now the center of our lives. If I leave my wallet at home I won’t go back for it. If I leave my iPhone at home, I slam on the breaks and return for it. My iPhone is my life in 2.5 cubic inches. I gotta have access to my data and I gotta be connected to the world.
So connect the dots. If all small cars are about the same and my iPhone is the center of my life, my car is reduced to an iPhone accessory and I believe many more people will feel this way in the future
I’ve often wondered why an automaker hasn’t made a small car that uses the iPad as all dash electronics. Simply “snap” your iPad into the dash for all computer functions. Buy an “app” to re-program your engine or transmission. Navigation and phone are a given. Watch movies and TV (when parked), surf the internet, listen to your music, tap on your addresses to set navigation, enjoy the use of all “apps,” and on and on and on.
Of course driving for sport(sports cars), hauling(trucks), and other specialty vehicles will still be able to differentiate, for a little while. But eventually, they will also be iPhone accessories. Data is king. It saves a lot of time when all the machines in your life are seamlessly connected. Your machines become “personal data aware.”
Automakers, hear me! Get ahead of the game. Embrace data centricity or die! Oh, … and buy Apple stock.