Technology

What's Up With Apple: Who Wants to Make the Apple Car, Can Apple TV+ Compete, and More

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) did not make major headlines on Tuesday, the world’s most valuable company had a role in a number of stories.

For example, when Netflix posted earnings after markets closed Tuesday, the company that slew Blockbuster reported a total global subscriber base of more than 200 million. Apple TV+, on the other hand, may have made it into the double-digit millions, but the company has said nothing about how many of those subscriptions are paid and how many are free for a year when consumers buy a new Apple device. One estimate from last spring set the number of active users at just 5 million but offered no estimate of how many are paid.

Can Apple compete with Netflix, Disney and HBO? Does it want to? As we noted elsewhere this morning: “Apple has a long road to elbow itself to the center of the streaming wars.”

In other Apple news, a South Korean news site, eDaily, reported that Hyundai Motor Group has “internally organized” its Kia division “to be in charge” of a rumored proposal to build an Apple car:

An industry insider predicted that ‘Hyundai Motor, which has strong brand power, has decided that it is not necessary to take over the Apple car business. Rather, it will be a very meaningful business for Kia to dominate the future mobility market.’

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, commented on the company’s recent decision to ban the Parler app from the company’s App Store. From AppleInsider:

We have an app store that has about 2 million apps in it. And we have terms of services for these apps. We obviously don’t control what’s on the internet, but we’ve never viewed that our platform should be a simple replication of the internet. We have rules and regulations, and we just ask that people abide by those.

Long-time Apple watcher Horace Dediu reflected on his 2014 prediction that Apple Pay would be a $1 billion business for the company by 2020. (Spoiler: The prediction was off.) The entire blog post is worth a read, but Dediu’s comments on why big retailers like Home Depot and Walmart haven’t gotten on board are particularly worth noting:

[A]t WalMart and Home Depot there is the capability of support but an incomprehensible refusal to do so. One rumor about why Home Depot denies it is because they were hacked once and are paranoid about any technology. Walmart may be spiteful due to margin/cost, valuing a few basis points over customer satisfaction, convenience, hygiene and employee productivity. These holdouts are the laggards. Perhaps there is some pride in denying their customers a basic convenience but there certainly isn’t profit in it.

Apple shares added 0.5% on Tuesday to close at $127.83, in a 52-week range of $53.15 to $138.79. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $134.30.