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Why Automotive is More Interesting than Smartphones

Jul 7, 2016 |

The 4 reasons to initiate coverage of the Automotive sector, with a focus on electric vehicles and self-driving cars, are:

  • The Car opportunity is large: in terms of Market share, Operating Margin, Operating Profit Comparison
  • Two multi-year (if not multi-decade) secular industry trends are in play: (A) electric powertrain, and (B) autonomous navigation (i.e. self-driving capabilities)
  • Emboldened by Tesla’s success: large Tech companies which were previously focused on Smartphone, are increasingly focused on self-driving car
  • Large Tech companies bring a lot of cash, scale, and disruptive technology

We believe self-driving cars provide the perfect platform opportunity for Apple and other tech companies to increase their relevance through hardware, software, and services. Beyond automotive, we have also included our interpretations of recently observed changes in Apple’s overall strategies and behaviour, later in this report.

Some questions that we seek to answer in future reports include: 

  • What are the different approaches and competing technologies used for implementing self-driving car capabilities and how do they compare with each other?
  • How will self-driving cars and associated advanced ride-sharing services potentially affect adjacent markets like automobile insurance?
  • What will be the potential nature and magnitude of disruptive impact on the automotive industry from self-driving cars?
  • What types of investments can individuals or institutions make to capitalize on self-driving car industry dynamics?


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