Apple’s SVP of Internet Software & Services, Eddy “The Fixer” Cue, has joined Ferrari’s Board of Directors. In one design leader complimenting another, Cue said he has long admired the Italian luxury auto manufacturer. However, does Wednesday’s action have any relevance to Apple fans likely owning something a bit less drenched in high-octane? Possibly.
While Ferrari was not among the list of automakers which plan to participate in Apple’s ‘Eyes Free’ initiative launched earlier this summer, integration of the Siri voice-recognition feature is expected to show up in GM’s Chevrolet Spark, as well as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar at a later date…
This is pure speculation, but Cue may play a larger role in the Siri Eyes Free program now that his realm of responsibility was recently increased to cover Siri after a much-headlined corporate shakeup.
Autos have long been part of Apple’s growth, if only unofficially.
Some of the earliest iPhone accessories have enabled Apple fans to bring their smartphones along for the ride, employing Google Maps for navigation. The likelihood of Apple Maps in Ferraris may have just increased with Cue’s involvement.
As part of the management shakeup, Cue will oversee Apple Maps. The iPhone maker may want to create a more permanent connection, however.
According to AppleInsider, Apple in 2012 filed for a patent that syncs an iPhone with a car, permitting a consumer’s contacts and other data to be transferred to an auto’s onboard computer. From Ferrari’s view, asking Cue to join its board can only be a positive.
Really, what the heck does Eddy Cue know about the automotive industry?
— Christian Zibreg (@dujkan) November 7, 2012
Not only does it enhance its “coolness” factor among customers, but the presence of an Apple executive could prompt an infusion of cash from the Silicon Valley giant. But, like Apple, the auto company appears to be doing quite well despite the economic downturn.
In April, Ferrari President and Chairman Luca di Montezemolo had a sit-down meeting with Apple’s boss Tim Cook. The Ferrari boss compared his company with Apple, saying both were focused on brand, exclusivity, and attention to customers.
Di Montezemolo also compared himself to the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Both men took charge of a faltering business, turning the companies into producers of wildly-popular products.
Can this relationship with Ferrari help Apple?
I’m counting on the next press invite to an Apple event coming with a free test drive.