Apple insider, Mr. Jeremy Core, inadvertently revealed the seeds of a plan to launch a car later this year. The exact dates are not yet known but it is slowly becoming clear as to what features this revolutionary new car will have, short after the release of the iPhone.
In a major departure from conventional cars, Apple iCar will shun some of the common features like 4 wheels and round steering mechanism. Apple’s Core said Steve thinks that 4 wheels are just too many and confuse the average user. In fact, insider sources reveal that Steve nearly threw a fit when he saw the early prototypes with 4 wheels and a spare saying “Do I really need all these.. you (expletive deleted)! Go get me a car with 1 wheel like the iPod or the Mac!” After several rounds of negotiations, which at Apple primarily meant firing of senior engineers and architects, Jobs relented to go with a three wheeled design.
Of Square Pegs and Round Holes
Among other features of the three wheeler car, is a square steering wheel. Although awkward to use and reported to poke injuries on sharp turns, it does make the iCar appealing to a certain market segment. Apple’s Core refused to comment on reports of injury and neither confirmed nor denied the leaked statement by Steve, “Most people don’t know how to drive straight and the square steering wheel will let these (expletive deleted by FCC)-ing morons know when the steering wheel is straight.”
Microsoft senior executives speaking on condition of anonymity said that they find the whole idea of 3 wheels and square steering wheel ‘simple minded and not what we have heard customers are asking for’. In fact, he thought that there might be liability arising out of use of the words steering wheel when the actual shipping product is square. There are unconfirmed rumors that Microsoft is planning to counter with Rune (pronounced “ruin”), a car which will come with 7 wheels. Although most customers will only use 4, Microsoft product managers believe that enterprises want the added security that comes with extra wheels. The pricing for the Rune is not yet fully decided but will most likely be based on per-wheel metric. The other key features of Rune:
- Lots and lots of windows. The standard 4 side windows in most cars will be replaced by many smaller dedicated windows – one for looking at the side street, one for looking slightly up at the street lighting and so on. You can go to the Control Panel and follow the 19 step quick setup wizard to customize these windows.
- 6 Cup holders. Analyst from Gardener, Mr. Trim said that the cup holders will be slightly smaller than standard cups and will require customers to purchase new standard cups from Microsoft partners.
Integrated Experience with iGas
When approached for comments, Apple’s Core declined but mentioned the following features that are going to “Wow!” the customer in an apparent jab at Microsoft’s Wow campaign:
- iGas Stores: The iCar will not run on gasoline currently available but will require a 90.5 octane that can only be procured from iGas stores run by Apple. Jobs believes that the current gas station experience leaves the customer with too many confusing choices and that iGas will provide a superior experience including hands-on car advice by Apple Machine Heads.
- Pre-integrated and welded on Battery and other replacement parts: Apple has decided to enhance the user experience by completely bypassing the current car fixing industry known for over charging and other scams. In stead, you will have to ship, or drive the car to an Apple factory (in San Jose-California, Chapel Hill-North Carolina or Salt Lake-Utah).
The blogger (yes, me) conducted an informal phone survey of potential car buyers and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Here are some quotes:
- “I can’t wait to go under 300K of debt to buy the iCar, it will be super awesome”, said 16-year old Michele. In an unrelated note, she is expected to be featured on MTV’s My Sweet Sixteen.
- “Four wheels always seemed like an overkill, no wonder Detroit is going out of business”, said 32-year old software executive at a reputed German company.
- “Round steerings are so totally square”, said 44-year old Chandra. As a vegan, she also appreciates that the iCar will have no leather parts.
What do you think? Will iCar finally break Toyota’s run to the top?
Note: I will reveal the first pictures of the iCar in next few days, so be sure to check back.