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The idea that Apple is going to be in the car business in any meaningful fashion strikes me as absurd. The *actual* car business is messy: unions, oil, rubber, transport of big heavy machines to every village and hamlet, dealing with dealers (or like Tesla, fighting ancient laws). Bah. What foreign producer is going to rebadge their product and give away the glory? And how comfortable would Apple be putting their brand in someone else’s stamping plant?

I even doubt the idea that Apple will have a meaningful place in the cockpit, although I’m less convinced of that. No automaker is going to want to turn over the most important functions of the cars to some third party who could then hold them hostage in a meaningful contract negotiation. Putting Bose speakers in the back of a car is one thing, turning over the dashboard and all electronics is quite another. Is GM or anyone going to say “Sure, take over the driving functions, but we’ll keep the liability if your software drives somebody into a cement truck.”

But honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the strategy of the home assistant. If there’s money in “home assistant” then it needs to be great - because there’s real competition. If you’re using it for something else, well, what is the something else? If you’re going to be a video provider, you need to have the deepest library (or the best in some genre, or *something*). This is a winner-take-all market (think: Blockbuster, back in the day) and now it’s Netflix. I don’t see how Apple TV gets around that, except by swamping the field in some other way, as Amazon is doing with cheap pucks named Alexa, and Google is now doing with its version.

Given that I own one of each, I can say that Siri has gone from first to worst, many times she doesn’t even understand the question, much less have an answer. At $300+ the Apple entry is certainly not going to be everywhere, and in most houses I suspect they’re going to be nowhere, so it’s hard to see how that reinforces Apple Music/iTunes, etc. I get that you can make a lot of money serving an elite clientele (Beats!) but if you are looking toward “ecosystem”, well, I don’t get it.

Google is surrounding the home with its Nest suite (camera, thermostat, smoke alarms, etc.) and Waze and such, and Amazon is surrounding the consumer with, well, everything (Prime! Books! Whole Foods!) and even with that they’re no match for Netflix in the video world. Google has YouTube, ho hum. I think these wanna-be media titans are grasping at straws. Amazon won an Oscar with their billions spent on programs, but has that made them a power? I don’t think so. Video Prime is still just a free add-on; they’re discounting membership without calling it discounting. Now Apple is going to spend “billions” producing movies, or videos, or something. Why? They’ll be lucky to make it to third place on most people’s video option menus. Apple, of all companies, should know what it’s like to have a small marketshare and fight the content battle - as they did with “programs” back in the 80’s and 90’s.

Well, this is a long ramble, and I’m equally sure people are going to be buying iPhones and such for a long while so it’s not a diss of the company, but the “strategy” looks a bit like a jumble: throw a bunch of stuff at a wall and see if something sticks. That doesn’t usually work, I don’t think. Can anybody see a strategy here? Or articulate it other than “sell products” to people who can afford them?
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