Ten Features An 'Apple Car' Would Have

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Apple made its reputation on industry-changing computer products and has expressed little interest in producing cars, but people love to speculate. Here are Jalopnik reader's picks for ten things to look for in an 'Apple Car' if Apple is ever crazy enough to jump into the market.

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Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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10.) There would be few color options

Suggested By: Is that a rain coat?

Why it's so Cupertino: Except for the smaller iPods, the average Mercedes showroom is a florist shop compared to the Apple product lineup. Expect a hypothetical rollout palette to include black, white, and maybe brushed aluminum.

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9.) You wouldn't be able to fix it yourself

Suggested By: Joel Scheib

Why it's so Cupertino: Cars are becoming ever more complex and integrated, and packaging is becoming ever more difficult, so the opportunity for the end user to radically customize (or even just change the oil filter) might be a thing of the past.

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8.) It would effectively use existing ideas

Suggested By: Hadaken

Why it's so Cupertino: Audi didn't invent all-wheel-drive for the road or exhaust-gas turbocharging, but they made them work incredibly well. Similarly, Apple didn't invent GUI or the MP3 player, they just made them available to the broad consumer market and made everyone else play catch-up.

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7.) It would be a study in industrial design

Suggested By: bearslayer

Why it's so Cupertino: An Apple product has no rough edges or unresolved details. It's clean, it's artful, and it's all focused towards making the product work. Sometimes there's curious details, but it's a forgone conclusion that someone thought long and hard about them, and they usually (not always, but usually) work.

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6.) It would be easy to use

Suggested By: Pinzgauer in Hawaii

Why it's so Cupertino: Pick up an iPod and within thirty seconds you've probably got the basic controls figured out; within five minutes you've mastered it. You could sit in an Apple car, know where everything is intuitively, and in no time be capably getting everything out of it.

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5.) It would emphasize the experience over the numbers

Suggested By: Chairman Kaga

Why it's so Cupertino: Apple products aren't the fastest or the cheapest or the "most"; they just work exceptionally well for real-world tasks for real-world people, and allow those people to feel like they know what they're doing — because they do know what they're doing.

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4.) It would be a paragon of functionality

Suggested By: Ash78, the guy with the Saab Draken tattoo

Why it's so Cupertino: Your laptop is a recording studio. Your phone is a video camera. Your car carries four people and cargo in comfort and dignity over battered two-lane roads and Autobahnen and suburban traffic. It may not excel in any one thing, but it does a lot of things very, very well.

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3.) It would be a cult icon

Suggested By: primalzer

Why it's so Cupertino: Apple fanboys are second to none in their devotion to the brand, and consequently have very high expectations. ("No iPhone 5? The horror!") They will be present in droves to judge and consider and accept or reject as they interpret the Gospel of Steve.

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2.) It would attract the haters

Suggested By: MC Brian1321

Why it's so Cupertino: Along with the fanboys are the naysayers. Too expensive! Not fast enough! You're a hipster! My cousin's friend bought one and the chips weren't soldered in right! Scurrilous rumors and ill-grounded grudges are a part of life, and maybe something of an ironic badge of honor.

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1.) It would be intensely desirable from the beginning

Suggested By: TimTim

Why it's so Cupertino: Even with the cult and beyond the iconoclasts, there is usually something hugely desirable about Apple stuff. It's just wantable. See it, like it, start saving for it, enjoy it.

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DISCUSSION

10.) There would be few color options

9.) You wouldn't be able to fix it yourself

8.) It would effectively use existing ideas

7.) It would be a study in industrial design

6.) It would be easy to use

5.) It would emphasize the experience over the numbers

4.) It would be a paragon of functionality

3.) It would be a cult icon

2.) It would attract the haters

1.) It would be intensely desirable from the beginning

Save for #10, those are things that every current automaker has been trying for quite some time now.

9.) Inexperienced people usually only make matters worse when they try to fix the complicated new cars. Most manufacturers (especially the Germans) would rather you leave it to their trained technicians.

8.) After 100+ years of car designs, we have gone through nearly every permutation possible. Now we just take existing designs and try to tweak them to make them better.

7.) While most designs might not be considered "industrial", every manufacturer is paying attention to the designs of their vehicles, in style and in functionality (crash safety, pedestrian safety, aerodynamics...)

6.) "Hard to use" can also equate to "unsafe", and no manufacturer wants to admit that their vehicles are hard to use. (even if the now popular touchscreens are not as easy to use as the buttons and knobs they replaced.)

5.) Numbers are only bragging rights for the fastest cars out there. Any moderately powered roadster or coupe or hatchback will always brag about the experience instead of the numbers because there is always a faster car out there.

4.) A car without functionality is of no use to anyone. Coupes and Roadsters have lost popularity due to the functionality of the sedan. How many times have you heard "I need my car to have 4 doors"?

3.) The Mustang, F series, Miata, Mini, 911, 458 Italia, Veyron, and even the Camry have all become more than just a car, they've become the defining vehicle in their segment. That is the cult status that every manufacturer wants to become. When you become the yardstick that everyone is measured against, then no company can make a competing car without someone bringing up your product.

2.) And of course, if you get to cult popularity, you will get some haters. But that's a good thing too. As long as there are no safety issues, any debate about the car will only make people remember the car. Just like P.T. Barnum said: "I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right"

1.) Every company wants to make a desirable car. That's a given. If a car is not desirable in some form, it will not sell. If people aren't interested, they'll look elsewhere.

I'm not trying to argue against the list, I think Apple would try to accomplish all those goals if they did build a car. However, I'm just pointing out that a company that prides itself in "thinking different" will have a hard time differentiating itself in a crowded market. Also, when you look back at Apple's biggest breakthroughs, you'll see that they all take advantage of a market that was empty (or at least underrepresented). An easy to use computer, an MP3 player with large storage, and a smart phone meant for the average non-business person were all novel ideas when they were introduced.