Unless you’re extremely consumer technology minded, and extremely au fait with everything that goes on internally at your favorite tech company, the name Tony Fadell may not mean anything to you. After enjoying a stint at Apple – where he ended up being referred to as the “father of the iPod” – Fadell is now the current CEO of Nest, the Alphabet-owned company that designs and develops intelligent thermostats and other home automation products. That clearly keeps him busy, but he’s managed to find the time to reminisce with Bloomberg TV about his time at Apple under the late, iconic Steve Jobs and had a few things to say about the rumored Apple Car.
In addition to talking about his time spent in the Cupertino-based company, Fadell took the opportunity to discuss the future of mobility, as well as he and his current company’s continuing effort to transform the state of the connected home landscape. That’s all extremely interesting, and under normal circumstances would be enough to pique our interest, but it’s the fact that he admitted to having discussions with Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs about what an Apple-designed car could look like that has managed to garner the headlines.
It appears that the conversation was nothing more than a hypothetical “what if” kind of discussion at the time, rather than one that had a genuine chance of coming to fruition. At that time, Apple’s iPhone had only been around for a matter of months, and the company didn’t have enough resources to invest in the project. When pushed on the subject by Bloomberg, Fadell admitted that he and Steve Jobs had a “couple of walks”, which gave them the opportunity to discuss a potential vehicle project. After initially chatting about how the car would be powered, and what an Apple dashboard would be like, it was decided that the company was too “constraint” to push forward. Things are a little different now.
When asked about Apple’s potential entry into the vehicle market through the speculated Project Titan initiative, Fadell had a little more to say on the matter:
If you think about a car – what’s a car? – a car has batteries, it has a computer, it has a motor and it has a mechanical structure. If you look at an iPhone, it has all the same things. It even has a motor in it. If you try to scale it up “oh my god, I can make a car with those same components”. There is some truth to that.
We’re not exactly sure that the internal structure of an iPhone, and the physical DNA of a car can be likened as one and the same thing. But it does invoke a fair bit of excitement when you learn that an Apple Car is something the company has considered for nearly a decade.
(Source: Bloomberg [YouTube])