To date Apple has largely been considered a design king, especially when it comes to industrial design. It seems as though Jia Yueting, CEO of Chinese company LeEco, disagrees, recently calling Apple’s product design “obsolete” and “outdated.” Say what?! LeEco is no small company – it’s largely considered to be the “Netflix of China,” but has a product range that goes far beyond that, including smartphones, TVs, and even mountain bikes. Its latest, and most exciting, venture is electric cars. LeEco recently took the wraps off of a vehicle called the LeSEE supercar, which was unveiled with much fanfare in Beijing.
The car is self-driving and has a steering wheel that folds into the dashboard, as well as a screen with in-car entertainment for passengers. LeEco is aiming at outdoing Tesla with this car, and LeSEE is part of LeEco’s ecosystem, offering movies, TV, and music from LeEco’s services. Oh, and it’s absolutely beautiful. If the company that designed this car says Apple’s design is outdated, we almost want to believe them. Almost. “We think the difference between us and Apple is very large. Apple is a mobile phone company focused on hardware and software,” said Jia. “LeShi [another name for LeEco] is focused on the internet first, and only then on software, and finally on hardware.” “Apple only has individual apps. This was the right choice during the first generation of mobile net, when CPUs and the mobile network speeds were not fast enough,” he continued. “However now we’re moving into the next era of mobile internet, these problems no longer exist. Moreover, having separate apps just means great obstacles in the user experience. We hope to break down these obstacles.” Jia’s criticisms echo other issues that some have had with Apple, saying that the company has been slow to adopt things like 2-in-1 devices and wearables, bringing the Apple Watch to the market a while after it was first rumored to be launched. Only one problem – Apple isn’t only about innovation, it’s about bringing products to the market when customers want them. There’s no point launching a product that consumers aren’t ready for, and Apple is well aware of this. Still, LeEco’s new car is stunning – it’s something we would expect Apple to design. The car is sleek, high-tech, and very shiny. Sure, it’s just a concept, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I want one in my driveway. Now. The criticism comes at a tough time for Apple, which is seeing a pretty hefty drop in iPhone sales, a big deal for the company, which relies on the iPhone for a big chunk of its income. In a few years, however, Apple’s so-called dropping fortunes could change – rumors of an Apple Car have been gaining steam, and while we shouldn’t expect the car until at least 2019, it could be a game-changer. According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Apple has hundreds of employees working on the car, which has been given the codename ‘Project Titan.’ Much of the research for the car is said to be underway at secretive buildings in Sunnyvale, California, where “motor noises” have been heard in recent months. One report claimed Apple had a facility in Berlin, Germany as well. If Apple does eventually come up with an Apple Car, it’s likely to be a big deal, and highlights a shift away from traditional car manufacturers releasing cars and towards large tech companies, like Apple and Google, releasing cars. The Apple Car will almost certainly be electric, and will also take advantage of self-driving car tech, in order to compete with similar offerings, especially from the likes of Tesla. We can’t be for certain what the Apple Car will be like at this point in time, however we imagine the vehicle will be anything but “obsolete.” Learn More: iPhone 7 Rumor Confirms Waterproof, Dustproof Casing, New Touch Sensitive Home Button
What do you think about Apple’s design? Is it the best around or do you think it’s time for a change? Let us know in the comments below.