By Li Panpan
Apple is reportedly hiring auto engineers in China potentially to deploy its latest CarPlay system in the country and encountering competitors like Huawei.
A JW Insights earlier report said that both Apple and Huawei have stepped up their efforts in the new energy vehicle market as in-vehicle operating system suppliers. More than 600 models from 70 car manufacturers like Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Bentley use Apple’s Carplay system. In comparison, Huawei’s HiCar system is used in more than 150 models from partners like Volvo, Geely, BYD, and Audi.
At its recent Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released the latest CarPlay interactive system, which can directly control in-car functions such as the radio, air-conditioning, seat heating, and ventilation and adjust the dashboard interface to suit the user.
Apple’s website information dated May 30 said it started hiring engineers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Their roles will provide integration support for automotive partners and help developers complete Apple’s system certification, reported Yichai Global.
Car companies mostly require a systematic solution integrating software and hardware services, especially with cars becoming more intelligent, electrified, and Internet-connected. Software capabilities are more important for car companies. That’s also why Huawei and Apple prioritize working on in-vehicle operating systems, commented the earlier JW Insights article.
Although 14 auto companies, including Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche, are Apple’s early partners. The Yicai Global report quoted some industry professionals saying they are not optimistic about such a partnership model.
The president of a smart connected vehicle maker said that the new generation CarPlay system requires automakers to allow Apple access to underlying data, which would be like handing over their ‘soul’ to the U.S. tech giant. So CarPlay is unlikely to become mainstream in the Chinese market in the next two to three years.
“Key foreign car brands, including BMW, Volkswagen, and Toyota, aren’t among the partners because they haven’t yet bet on Apple’s CarPlay,” he added.