Apple brings innovation and competition to auto industry, Ford says

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Apple Car
Magna International Inc. is making cars for BMW.
Photo: BMW

We still don’t even know if Apple is really building an car (even though there are a lot of signs that it is), but whatever the iPhone-maker’s next play in the auto-market is, the company’s about to generate a lot of innovation and competition in the market, says Ford CEO Mark Fields.

During Fords second-quarter earnings call, Fields said that he views Apple’s interest in the auto industry as a net positive, even though he has absolutely no idea what they’re doing.

“Who knows what Apple or Google are doing,” said Field, before declaring whatever it is, “It’s positive for the industry in terms of generating competition or innovation. In some cases, competition and in some cases, partners.”

The Ford CEO hasn’t always lauded Apple’s automotive ambitions though. Earlier this year, Fields told Recode that he didn’t want his company “to end up as the handset business” once Apple reveals its first vehicle. Rather than completely embracing Apple’s Car Play infotainment system, Ford has pressed forward with its SYNC software, while also building an Apple Watch app.

It’s unclear whether Apple is planning to build its own vehicle from the frame up, or if it will partner with an existing automaker to license part of their design and technology. Last week it was reported that Apple had been in talks with BMW to use its i3 electric car as the basis for the Apple Car.

Whatever Apple’s ultimate plans are, we’re unlikely to see an Apple-branded car hit the road until 2020 at the earliest, giving Ford a few more years to toss some desperately needed innovation into its gas guzzlers.

Via: The Street