Here Comes a Rotten Apple

So Apple is going to make a car.  What do you think about that?  I suppose it depends upon whether you are a car guy or not.  How enthusiastic any individual is about a car produced by an electronics company will be inversely related to that individual’s knowledge of cars.

No one knows what a car produced by Apple will be like, but we can rest assure that it will not be this:

It's so obvious that this would be the way to go, but Apple just wouldn't be able to make themselves do it.  The folks at Apple aren't near as smart as people give them credit for being.

We all have our own opinion of what a perfect car would be like, but for any rational person, the perfect car would meet the following criteria:
  1. The initial purchase price must be relatively inexpensive.  This is the most important criteria of all, since virtually all other problems can be overcome simply by spending money.  
  2. It must be inexpensive to maintain and repair.
  3. It must be reliable, and by reliable, I mean it must be ready for use at moment’s notice, any time, regardless of how much it has been already been driven that day.
  4. Maintenance and most repairs must easy enough for the owner to perform himself.
  5. If reasonably cared for, it should not go down much in value.
  6. It should be easy to upgrade with modern parts as time goes by.
  7. It should maintain its appeal, even after it’s 10, 20, 30, 40 years old and older.

One could sum up all of these criteria by saying that the perfect car would be relatively inexpensive and at least somewhat immune to obsolescence.  Any car that does not meet these criteria should not ever be considered a perfect car since there are so many cars out there already, that do.

What will a car made by Apple be like?  How many of the above criteria will it meet?  Who will want one after one is five or more years old?  Well, let’s take a look at the products Apple has made in the past, and currently makes now.  Who wants a ten year old ipod?  How much would you pay for a 2010 iphone?  Apple has made many wonderful products over the years, but the ability to avoid obsolescence has never been one of any of their strong suits.  Compare the original ipod to the Ford Model T.  No one wants an old ipod, where as many Model T’s were still in daily service, well into the 1950’s.

Now someone trying to defend Apple might say that there is a big difference between a personal electronic item and a car, and that’s my whole point.  Apple making cars makes about as much sense as Harley Davidson making cell phones.

If for no other reason, the Apple car is destined for failure, simply because it will be an electric car.  I’ve written many posts on why electric cars will never become mainstream, and naive, supporters often counter with the “they will with improvements in battery technology” argument.  Well to them, I say read this.  Not just the article, but the comments as well.  From reading that link, most people will conclude that not only is it very unlikely that any significant, economical improvements in battery technology will come to pass in near future, but even if they did, an electric car will still not even come close to matching the performance and convenience of a gas powered automobile.

I shouldn’t have to explain that to anyone.  People should be able to come to the same conclusion from their own life experience.  Batteries are an excellent source of intermittent power (like with starting a gas car), but a terrible source of continuous power (like with powering the motor of an electric car).  

Take a brand new lithium-ion battery powered drill and try drill some half inch holes through thick steel.  It’s almost amazing how little power and run time the drill has.  No biggie though, all you have to do is put the battery on the charger, and you can finish drilling a fraction of the holes...  tomorrow.  Take any battery powered tool, leave it outside for a few hours when it’s ten below zero, and then, try and use it.  It will be damned close to worthless.

I have always suspected that proponents of the electric car are nerds that were bullied by muscle car owners when they were kids, and the battery powered car is some form of convoluted revenge.  Well, that’s never gonna happen.  Remember, “Loud pipes save lives.”  I don’t know how, but they do.

If Apple wants to produce a successful car, they should purchase the design of and production rights to a ‘69 Camaro.  Since they actually appreciate in value over time, they’re one of the few automobiles that are a good investment.



  1. Make it a '65 Mustang with an after market 351 Cleveland, air shocks, deep dish chromes and 70 series tires and I'll buy one. Even though I despise Apple...................

    1. I had a car that was incredibly close to that. Everything you described except for mine was a '67 with a home brew Boss 302.

      Mustang or Camaro, either one is much closer to the prefect car than car Apple might build could ever be.

      P.S. If you like air shocks and deep dish mags check out '70's Street Machines It's right over there to the right, on my blogroll. Awesome site, full of car pics from back in the day.

  2. NICE!!!!!!!! You probably miss it as much as I miss mine.....................

    1. I miss it, but the sale of every car led to new adventures with another one. I value the experiences more than the cars themselves.