Although they are leaders in their respective fields, Tesla and the iPhone have the meaning of being indifferent to each other. In addition to the personal grievances of Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Tesla is worried that Apple will become a competitor in the future is an important reason.
Apple and Tesla have a lot in common, and they are far from perfect when it comes to integrating each other’s products. Both companies are well-known for their design, advanced technology, and control of the ecological chain. Tesla Motors is equipped with an iPad similar large-size display, rather than physical buttons, the user can use the smartphone as a car key.
Tesla is also steadily advancing the development of autonomous driving technology. It has thus won the reputation of the Apple of the automotive industry. Musk has even tried to sell the company to Apple, and consumers think that Tesla cars are iPhones with wheels.
But the experience of Apple users driving Tesla cars is quite bad. Tesla’s iPhone application has many practical functions, such as remote driving lock, controlling the temperature in the car, and managing charging functions. However, once inside the car-when users have a more urgent need for the integration of smartphones and cars, the compatibility problem is revealed.
Apple fans are likely to be familiar with CarPlay and are Apple Music users. Apple fans driving Tesla cars are helpless: their cars support neither CarPlay nor Apple Music. In Tesla cars, Apple users cannot access Apple Music through special apps (Tesla cars provide a special Spotify app), and can only transfer music from iPhone to Tesla cars via Bluetooth. Although users can control the volume and fast forward, they cannot access the entire music library as in other brands of cars, and can only find the playlist of the current playlist at most.
At least some Tesla engineers had planned to support Apple Music. In December of last year, Tesla’s in-car software was used to support Apple Music, but Apple and Tesla obviously did not put it into practice. CarPlay is almost everywhere. According to data from Apple’s official website, CarPlay has more than 600 models, covering all mainstream car manufacturers. Obviously, Apple’s statement has moisture: Tesla Model Y or Model 3 is the best-selling electric car model.
Tesla is worried about Apple becoming a competitor in the future:
The obstacle that Tesla Motors does not support Apple Music and CarPlay is Tesla. Tesla cars have almost occupied the parking lot of Apple’s offices. The biggest wish of Apple employees is undoubtedly to be able to use Apple Music and CarPlay smoothly in their cars. Apple has been trying to make its services available in all devices including cars, and integration with Tesla Motors is a landmark success for Apple. Apple Music has entered Porsche Taycan, Android, smart TV, and smart speakers from Google, Amazon and Sonos.
Tesla does not want to give up control of the on-board system interface, but foreign media believe that the integration of CarPlay will not detract from the user experience. What really worries Tesla may be that the integration of CarPlay will allow users to use Apple’s services, which poses a threat to Apple when it sells its own brand cars.
The biggest obstacle to cooperation between Tesla and Apple may be Musk himself. When the news of Apple building cars was first exposed in 2015, Musk said that Apple was a trash dump for former Tesla employees. He also severely criticized Apple’s App Store policy and Apple News applications. Although they were sitting close to each other during a meeting held by former U.S. President Trump in 2016, Cook and Musk said they had never communicated with each other.
Both companies may see each other as future competitors. Apple is developing electric cars and plans to release them in 2024. What may upset Musk is that the Apple car project leader is Doug Field, a former Tesla executive. These reasons all sound reasonable, but they still cannot explain why Tesla Motors did not integrate Android Auto. What’s even more puzzling is that this situation has neither caused protests from Tesla customers, and iPhone fans seem to care less about it-although there are already hundreds of models on the market that have been integrated with the iPhone.
But what Musk and Tesla should note is that Motorbiscuit published an article on January 1 this year that a Reddit post attracted thousands of Tesla users who were dissatisfied with it. Some users say that if they do not integrate smartphones, they will not consider buying Tesla cars. Although it is feasible to buy accessories on the market to provide the same function and the cost may be lower, most drivers do not want to override this.
Obviously, the relationship between Apple and Tesla is a bit strained, but the biggest loser at the moment is consumers.