Dirk Knemeyer

Apple and the Transportation Industry

Apple and the Transportation Industry, February 19, 2015

It raises really interesting questions about what the biggest most powerful business conglomerates are going to look like in 20 or 30 years. If Google is correct, then the top tech companies, the Google, the Apple, Amazon, companies like that are going to be in the transportation business. I’m not sure yet if that will be the case. I think it’s very possible.

Apple, because they have so much cash, they need to, in trying to keep up with Google, be involved in that business. They need to be paying attention to it, they need to be making investments. They don’t have a choice, because if things fall in a certain way, and if they’re the ones on the outside looking in, it won’t be pretty for them. Now Apple has so much money, they’re in a position where in theory they could pass on it and things could move forward and they could be left behind and they could just go out and buy General Motors or some major automotive company and close the gap and get back in the game. They have that luxury.

The very fact that they’re the follower, the very fact that Google is the one kind of out there already. Apple’s not there, maybe they’re heading there. Maybe they’ll miss the boat and have to buy into it later is ominous, because Apple’s success over the last … I don’t know when the iPhone or the iPod rather was first released, but over the last 15 or 20 years it’s been about being ahead. It’s been about pioneering and opening and as we’ve talked about they’re falling behind. That brand is becoming less and less what Apple’s about.

The Apple of 2015 is more like Microsoft of 1995 in a lot of different ways. That’s not the Apple that we’ve come to know, and for many people love, from the 1970′s until the mid-2000′s. I don’t know what Apple’s going to do. I think that they probably should be dabbling at a minimum and thinking about the future. The future may be one where the top technology companies are also the primary transportation companies. There’s a lot of good reasons why that should be the case. I mean if I were Tim Cook, I would be investing intelligently in transportation.