While Apple’s iPhone X announcement last month attracted attention primarily for revealing the most substantial redesign of the iPhone to date, a Frost & Sullivan analyst thinks that hidden in the subtext are hints that Apple’s next focus will be on making its own car.
In his new report, Frost & Sullivan Connectivity & Telematics Programme Manager Krishna Jayaraman says that the iPhone’s new A11 Bionic processor, together with Apple’s emphasis on augmented reality applications in announcing the device, “bring a clear angle towards their autonomous connected car approach.” Jayaraman also believes that Apple’s numerous acquisitions of firms involved in biometrics and machine learning point to smart car applications, and he expects that Apple’s sophisticated infrared facial recognition system, Face ID, will ultimately find its way into Apple’s smart car, offering, “personalization, smart access and in-car payment solutions.”
Jayaraman’s analysis appears to go against conventional opinion, with Apple thought to have started moving away from its in-house car development project around the start of 2016. But it’s true that in the time since, there has been a growing convergence between IT and automotive technologies, with major tech companies like Microsoft and Samsung getting in on the action; so it’s possible that Apple has begun to turn its attention back to this area.
In Jayaraman’s view, “it is very obvious that Apple could potentially be the next Tesla here.” But is Tesla the next Ford, or General Motors? Many would say that isn’t clear yet. What is clear is that the technology Apple has developed for its big new iPhone has analysts excited about what’s coming next.