Apple announces CarPlay: An all-new ‘iCar’ experience?

Apple's website announces new iOS-based CarPlay system. (Screen shot of Apple's splash page)

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 – On a mostly negative roller-coaster ride for the last several months, the stock of Apple computer, caught a bid last week when rumors of a deal with elite automaker Tesla began to surface. But this morning, the buzz has acquired more substance, as Apple went public with news of its new CarPlay in-auto system.

According to a release from Geneva via Business Wire, Apple announced “that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri [Apple’s voice command interface] without distraction.”

Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week,” the release continued, “while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.”

Apple’s website echoes that release on its website.

The news is sure to cause a buzz in Apple’s stock, but maybe not right away today. Stocks are being severely slammed across the board this morning as Wall Street reacts to this weekend’s resumption of the Cold War by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Russian troops, secret police and local, undoubtedly paid thugs launched a rapid and obviously pre-planned takeover of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Putin’s naked aggression, encouraged by a weak-kneed response by both the U.S. and the E.U. to his obvious, Olympics-delayed designs on the territory, has also had the consequence of blasting Russian stocks as well as the ruble.

Not that this will stop Russia’s actions in Crimea, or prevent Putin for slicing off and effectively annexing all or part of the Ukraine, a virtual certainty prefigured by his similar move earlier in former-Soviet Georgia. But, with the U.S. considerably weakened by the Obama administration’s feckless excuse for a foreign policy, Putin clearly has little to fear, and likely anticipates a Neville Chamberlain-like response from the West.

On the other hand, maybe Putin could be bought off with the gift of a new CarPlay-equipped Ferrari. Well, it’s a thought…

Today’s trading tips:

None. It’s likely a bit late to even hedge your bets with a short ETF like SDS or SH. But we’ll watch and see if this become an appropriate response later today. The market, with the Dow down about 120 and the S&P 500 off about 10 as of 9:40 a.m. EST, could bounce back a bit after the intense initial selloff abates.

Traders should have and probably were discounting this move last week with the relentless afternoon selloffs that tended to occur after more optimistic opening trading. Nonetheless, we’d tread cautiously right now, pending further developments as well as this week’s economic reports.


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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17