Apple could be positioning themselves to break into the automotive game. They’ve been in the headlines recently and have been haunted by lackluster successes, but maybe this will be their ticket back to the top. Rumors continue to swirl that the Apple car almost existed and is poised to exist soon but regardless of what their endgame may be, they just took a $1 billion dollar step into the car industry.
Apple recently invested into Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing service which dominates the Chinese marker, where Uber only has a fraction of the market share. Among other things, apparently, the move is primarily intended to help the tech-giant better understand their second largest market after the U.S.
“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.” Cook has also not been shy about potential for collaboration between the two companies.
“Didi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” Cook said. “We are extremely impressed by the business they’ve built and their excellent leadership team, and we look forward to supporting them as they grow.” Didi CEO Cheng Wei has recently said that the extra $1 billion is “enormous encouragement and inspiration for our four-year-old company.”
Apple’s own positioning in the automotive field has been limited until this move, but the company is rumored to be building a car of its own. The company currently develops the CarPlay system that links to drivers’ iPhones, but are they ready for more? “That is what we do today in the car business, so we will have to see what the future holds,” says Cook.