Apple's $1 Billion Investment in Didi Chuxing Aligned With Electric Vehicle Plans
Apple announced yesterday that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing, but CEO Tim Cook refused to elaborate on the reasoning behind the move, beyond saying that it will help the company better understand the Chinese market and "deliver a strong return" on its invested capital over the long term.
Nevertheless, a pair of new reports suggest that Apple's ambitions behind its investment in the Uber rival could relate to its oft-rumored electric vehicle plans and broader push into the automotive industry.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that Didi Chuxing is "not only an important ally in a key market, but also a rich data source for self-driving vehicles," which is valuable to Apple amid rumors that it is developing its own electric and possibly autonomous vehicle.
Didi provides Apple with a rich data source for its self-driving vehicle push. It also could provide benefits to Apple’s mobile ecosystem. Ride-sharing apps are closely linked to payment services, such as Apple Pay. They also can be the foundation for other mobile commerce transactions such as deliveries.
The investment sets up with a potential showdown of firms aligned with Uber, which has taken investments from Alphabet Inc.’s venture capital arm and Chinese search giant Baidu. Both Alphabet and Baidu have invested heavily in autonomous driving technology.
The Information reported that ride-sharing services like Didi Chuxing and Uber are highly interested in self-driving vehicles, which would reduce overhead costs by eliminating the need for contracted drivers. In fact, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was reportedly planning to meet at Apple headquarters this week to "talk about future partnership opportunities," but the status of that meeting remains unknown.
This deal isn’t about the Didi service today. It establishes a future alliance around tech like self-driving cars, where Apple and Google are going head-to-head. Developing autonomous vehicles is the end game for these ride sharing companies—the move that will help them mint money by cutting out the cost of drivers. Uber has made big investments on that front, as has its partner Baidu. Didi had not. But Apple […] can help.
The so-called Apple Car, allegedly known as Project Titan internally, could launch by 2020. The bulk of research and development may be centered in the Santa Clara Valley area, near Apple's existing Cupertino headquarters, led by a team that includes former Tesla, Ford, and GM employees and other automotive experts. The vehicle is expected to compete with the likes of Tesla and Google.
Apple says iOS 16.4 is coming in the spring, which began this week. In his Sunday newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the update should be released "in the next three weeks or so," meaning a public release is likely in late March or early April.
iOS 16.4 remains in beta testing and introduces a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone. Below, we have recapped five new features ...
Apple is tracking the attendance of its employees at offices using badge records in order to ensure they are coming in at least three times a week, according to Platformer's Zoë Schiffer.
Since April 2022, Apple employees have been operating on a hybrid home/office work policy as part of a gradual return strategy following the pandemic, with staff required to work from the office at least...
While the iPhone 15 series is still around six months away from launching, there have already been plenty of rumors about the devices. Many new features and changes have been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular.
Below, we have recapped 10 changes rumored for iPhone 15 Pro models that are not expected to be available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:A1...
This year, all iPhone 15 models will include Apple's Dynamic Island that unifies the pill and hole cutouts at the top of the display, but there will also be a material change to the feature that wasn't included in the iPhone 14 Pro models.
According to a new tweet by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the proximity sensor on the iPhone 15 series will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island ...
Nothing today announced the launch of its second-generation wireless earbuds, the Nothing Ear (2), which offer many of the same features as Apple's AirPods Pro 2 at a lower price point. We went hands-on with the Ear (2) earbuds to see whether they're a viable alternative to the AirPods Pro 2 for those who want to save some cash.
The Ear (2) earbuds are the successor to the Nothing Ear (1),...
The iOS 16.4 update that is set to be released to the public in the near future includes voice isolation for cellular calls, according to notes that Apple shared today.
Apple says that Voice Isolation will prioritize your voice and block out the ambient noise around you, making for clearer phone calls where you can better hear the person you're chatting with and vice versa.
Apple is no longer allowing customers who purchase an iPhone, cellular iPad, or Apple Watch to activate a device with now-defunct mobile carrier Sprint. Apple has also removed remaining references to Sprint from its online store.
When checking out with a new purchase, Sprint is no longer an option for connectivity, a change that Apple appears to have implemented today. Prior to now, Sprint...
The iOS 16.4 release candidate version that was provided to developers today appears to hint at a new set of AirPods that could be coming in the near future. According to @aaronp613, the beta features references to AirPods that have a model number of A3048 and an AirPods case with a model number of A2968.
There have been no rumors that new AirPods are on the horizon, and it is early for...
Top Rated Comments
I look at the numbers for iPhones and Mac's going down year over year, stories like this one indicating more and more capital and resources being diverted from core product R&D into this "Apple Car," and I can't help but get a chilling sense of deja vu.
Seems to me that Tim Cook has taken for granted the market that has turned the company into what it has become, the United States, because he feels beholden to the market to keep searching for higher and higher returns. But instead of focusing on innovation through the pipeline, and continuing to focus on what has made Apple great, he's been looking for short term solutions by focusing so heavily on emerging markets. And I'm not saying that trying to capitalize on countries like China and India should not be a focus, but to do so in a way that I feel is detrimental to the long term interests of the company is short sighted and could be a costly mistake. If US consumers start to feel that Apple is prioritizing Chineze business over America interests because it is a "bigger" market with more growth potential, then they are going to start looking elsewhere. And if US consumers start to go elsewhere, then the shine of Apple begins to wear off and it could be crippling on its business worldwide. Now, obviously a worst case scenario, but I don't like the direction Cook is taking the company, and haven't for a while now (see fashion wearables, multiple color computers, low power computers, increasing share buybacks, etc.). A little worrisome.
Apple is a company that is really good at using industrial design + engineering to create consumer products. They are trying to learn how to get better at software services. In some ways, I'd say the software services are more of a stretch for Apple than a car, which seems perfectly aligned with their strengths in industrial design, engineering, and manufacturing.
Does that look like going down to anyone?