"Everything we have ever talked to Apple about, they have wanted to build both the hardware and software. If they want to be true to that mantra, then they are going to do the whole car," he said. "It makes perfect sense, it's an industry that hasn't really changed in a hundred years."
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According to a Bloomberg report on Thursday the company may want to roll out an electric car as soon as 2020. But before it can transform the car into the next iPhone, it needs to make sure it can get people from point A to point B, industry experts said.
Apple's Maps system was heavily criticized after its launch in 2012 because of glitches and inaccuracies. CEO Tim Cook even issued a statement on the company's website apologizing to users for how bad the service was. Since then the company has made investments to improve its mapping system.
For example, in October the company launched its Apple Maps Connect program, which let local businesses create and add details to listings to make information more accurate.
But the company still has a ways to go, said Bob O'Donnell, founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research.
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"The level of expectations people have around maps now is very high. It is an essential part of any device these days. Mobile devices need good mapping, and any car needs high quality mapping," he said.
Unlike Munster, O'Donnell doesn't see Apple building a car from the ground up just yet. Instead he sees Apple building electronic parts for the automobile. The need for them to keep improving their maps service is indisputable because they need accurate location data to support all kinds of other services, O'Donnell said.
"Mapping is also a gateway to location-based services, which is very, very important. It's a core data set that you got to have, and you want to have it built in your own particular way, and the only way you are going to do that is by having your mapping data because then you could build your own ecosystem around that mapping data," he said.
In other words, good mapping data helps Apple keep application developers who build location-based services on its platform and gives it the ability to control how people interact with that data.
Maps aren't the only challenge the iPhone maker will face as it looks to enter the auto space in a big way.
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