Is a Musk/Cook feud holding back better Tesla/iPhone integration?

Tesla considers itself a powerhouse of engineering, but as Tesla owners know full well, its cars are strange in that they don’t offer integration with Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto).

So why does a company that has aspirations to unleash fully self-driving cars on the world not managed to do what most other car manufacturer has been able to do, and offer CarPlay and Android Auto?

It’s a question pondered in last week’s Power On newsletter by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

It’s especially odd given that, as Gurman points out, “Teslas are the de facto car of Apple’s office parking lots (outside of the executive section).”

It’s an interesting question.

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First off, who’s to blame?

Bottom line, it must be Tesla that’s the roadblock here. CarPlay is out there for auto manufacturers to use, and all the big names are using it, from Ford to Ferrari.

In fact, on Apple’s webpage for CarPlay, the company says that “every major automobile manufacturer has partnered with us in supporting CarPlay.”

That’s rather an odd statement given that Tesla is the biggest EV automobile manufacturer.

Gurman offers a number of suggestions as to why CarPlay is absent from Tesla vehicles, ranging from Tesla not wanting to give up control of the interface to Tesla being worried about Apple’s own car aspirations to the rocky relationship between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“The biggest barrier to an Apple and Tesla accord is probably Musk himself,” writes Gurman. “In 2015, amid Apple’s first attempt to build a car, Musk said that Apple is the graveyard for ex-Tesla staffers. He has lambasted Apple’s App Store policies and the Apple News app, and slammed the company on a recent earnings call.”

That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t explain why there’s no Android Auto integration.

It also doesn’t explain why this hasn’t become a bone of contention for Tesla customers. I’m surprised that fervent iPhone fans aren’t up in arms that their Tesla doesn’t do something that hundreds of other cars on the market can do.

It’s all a bit strange.

Tesla owners, what do you make of this situation? Does it bother you, or is CarPlay/Android Auto something that’s not on your radar of Tesla wishes?

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