Where else does a software company need to go to expand its ecosystem and grasp of its users? The automobile. With some companies already embracing Apple Car Play and Android Auto jointly, Apple wants to make a play for an exclusive. The software giant may have a grand vision for a BMW-Apple partnered electric car. Apple executives initiated contact with BMW to tour the facility where they make the BMW i3 to learn how it’s made. At that time there was no talk of a partnership because Apple wanted to explore if they could make the cars on their own. As for BMW, they were also hesitant afraid to become a notch in Apple’s supply chain belt.
During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signalled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said. News of the Leipzig visit first emerged in Germany’s Manager-Magazin last week.
“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” a senior BMW source said.
With Google developing its self-driving car and Tesla already out in front with their electric Model S, it makes sense that Apple wants to venture into the auto industry. It’s interesting to see them stepping into the electric car world rather than self-driving which could indicate that they believe the immediate future of cars is electric. One can only speculate what the future holds as both companies haven’t given any indication as to whether or not there will be a collaboration.