CarPlay will become much more interesting if and when, say, the millionth CarPlay-equipped car is sold to a customer, which is probably at least two years away even if manufacturer adoption goes very well.
What struck me as odd about this announcement was the fact that CarPlay is not a standalone app. CarPlay won’t be used by the majority of people. And it certainly won’t have the “Apple Effect” we have come to know and expect.
Who gets to benefit from CarPlay? If the goal is to make interaction with your iPhone safer while driving, why choose such a small target market? Is that effect worth the millions invested? I know exactly zero people who are going to buy a brand new car in the next year. The chance of them acquiring CarPlay is probably less than zero.
CarPlay can’t be meant for such a small group of people.
Unless, ahem, Unless, Apple has something else up its sleeve for CarPlay. If I was a betting man, this would be my guess.
I don’t know the extent of improvement a standalone app would have on road safety. I don’t know if Apple would release a standalone device that would improve interaction with an iPhone on the road. And I don’t know if Apple views the transportation industry as an industry in need of disruption.
What I do know is Apple has a very large number of devices flying down the highway at 60 mph in the hands of unruly drivers. Unlike Google, I can’t see Apple turning a blind eye to the safety impact of an iPhone.
CarPlay is a stepping stone to something greater. The Motorola Rokr seems to faintly come to mind. And we know what came about after that hardware disaster.