Car shoppers told the Detroit Free Press that the move was “a dealbreaker” and a “huge blunder.” Auto analysts were left scratching their heads, noting that demand for CarPlay and Android Auto was “massive” and that GM was taking a huge risk by cutting off access.
It’s baffling! Short-sighted! Pure hubris!
But let’s allow a guy with a title that absolutely screams “fantastic user experience” get in a word.
But Scott Miller, vice president of software defined vehicle and operating systems at General Motors…
What does that even mean? The Macalope had to look it up to make sure The Verge hadn’t taken any poetic license but, nope! That’s his real title. Hmm, maybe his LinkedIn about statement will help.
Transforming GM from an automaker to a platform innovator, one day at a time.
Nope! No help there.
ANY-way, this guy…
…thinks that demand [for CarPlay] is a just sign that customers are still seeking an even better experience when getting in their cars.
“Your love of the sweet taste of rich, creamery butter just means you’re dying for our new product ‘Better Than Butter’. Made from a new liquid polymer, ‘Better Than Butter’ is… Where are you going?”
Meanwhile, over at Ford: [unrelenting peals of laughter]
Ford CEO Jim Farley told The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern that unlike some of its competitors, his company would be sticking with CarPlay, thank you very much. Needless to say, he doesn’t think much of GM’s decision.
”Yeah, how about that?” [laughs]
It is funny!
This isn’t exactly the first time Farley has had… let’s just say “opinions” about GM.
“F—- GM. I hate them and their company and what they stand for.”
Oh. Wow. Okay. He also didn’t have a great outlook on Tesla’s fortunes, stopping short of using any four-letter words to describe Elon Musk’s stewardship of the brand.
”…there’s no doubt about it, the demand for Tesla is changing and in some sense is deteriorating.”
While Farley is happy to work with Apple and Google, he hasn’t completely ceded the Ford user experience to them.
”There’s going to be a lot more going on inside your car than a phone.”
“Hey, hey, there’s a lot of data to hoover up! We can share!”
Unlike GM, Ford seems to have gotten the memo on these new “smartphones” all the kids are carrying around these days, much like you and I used to strap an abacus to our chests back in the day in case we ever needed to add more than three numbers together while we were out in the fields hoeing and tilling and, ugh, the reaping. So much reaping.
“The interior has to be really well done. But in terms of content? We kind of lost that battle 10 years ago. So get real with it, because you’re not going to make a ton of money on content inside the vehicle.”
Farley considers Apple and Google’s role to be solely in the “content” (blech) space within Ford autos. But he’s happy to have them along for the ride. He’s got good reason to want to CarPlay, anyway.
”70 percent of our Ford customers in the US are Apple customers. Why would I go to an Apple customer and say ‘Good luck!’ That, like, doesn’t seem customer centric.”
Right? There are probably a lot of people who don’t care or don’t understand what CarPlay is and will just take whatever system their preferred vehicle ships with. You know, the kind of people who buy those Calvin peeing stickers in bulk.
But… there are a lot who really do care. A lot. And for the people who prefer CarPlay, like this mythical beast, GM cars are now completely out of consideration.
And for what? Does GM really think it’s going to be able to sell people “content” (hurg)? Who is thinking “Boy, you know, I pay for Apple One on my Apple devices but what I really want to do is pay again for content in my car. And, ideally, the user experience should be worse!”?
Because, c’mon, Scott, get real. It’s gonna be worse. UNLESS…
There are two kinds of people who will choose to get their content from a car manufacturer inside the car: people who are rich enough to pay for it from both Apple/Google/Amazon and the car manufacturer and not have it materially impact their bottom line and long haul truckers who essentially live inside their cabin. Basically, anyone who’s gone to the bathroom inside their vehicle, yeah, that person might be willing to pay an automaker for music.
Check with actual human people and you will find that most of them spend way more time looking at their smartphones than driving their cars. (A lot of them are so hooked on their smartphones that they can’t even put them down while driving their car, but that’s another problem.) They like their smartphones. A lot. Making them learn another system for the small part of the day they’re in their cars is an uphill battle.