Mobile phone manufacturers playing with cars, “pig” can be blown up?
In 2022, any mobile phone company that has nothing to do with “car building” will be embarrassed to call itself a “big company”.Xiaomi, Apple, OPPO, Samsung, Huawei, which has vowed not to make cars, and SONY, which cannot be described as a mobile phone manufacturer, have all been associated with the word “car making”.Although smart cars are a hot topic, many big companies are involved in them. Real estate giants like Evergrande and Baoneng have not fully understood how to make cars in the end.And with Tesla and the new breed of homegrown cars in full swing, it’s a bit late to get in.So, mobile phone brands make cars, like real estate giants make cars, just another form more than content farce?Or do mobile brands really have an advantage and a chance to be first in line when it comes to building cars?This is X Technology lab, which is curious about everything unknown. Do mobile phone manufacturers really have advantages in making cars?We know that mobile phone manufacturers have some obvious advantages, such as high visibility among ordinary consumers and a well-developed offline sales network, but that alone is not enough.The big mobile phone companies have two real trump cards.First of all, what do you think is the biggest difference between building a conventional gas car and a smart car?Do you want to replace the oil engine with an electric one?No, otherwise it would be hard to explain why companies such as BBA and Porsche have had a dismal, if not a bad, response to the conversion of their classic models to electric versions.In our view, one of the biggest differences between building a conventional gasoline car and a smart car is the ability to combine hardware and software.In the era of smart cars, consumers are not only pursuing hardware, but also demanding software such as autonomous driving.The combination of hardware and software is difficult.Although the lighting industry teacher luo once said when entering the mobile phone industry: are TM suppliers for, you installed in that what grandson!But Luo teacher this is not all right, can only say, there are suppliers can make a mobile phone, but only suppliers certainly can not make a good mobile phone.Tell a little story.In March 2011, five months before xiaomi’s phone came out, xiaomi’s hardware and software engineers met and for the first time tried to get software to run and debug on a core circuit board that had just been built. The goal was simple: light up the screen.But from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., no matter how xiaomi engineers tried to run the software, the screen just wouldn’t light up.Everyone is panicking because they don’t know if it’s a software problem or a hardware problem, only that it can’t be fixed and xiaomi’s launch will be delayed for at least a few months.The story ends with the cliche, the screen lights up and Mr Lei holds up a working Xiaomi phone five months later in Beijing’s 798.But the lesson of this story is that it may not be hard to build hardware, it may not be too hard to write programs, but the difficulty of getting hardware and software to actually run together is not adding, but even raising it to the power.Back to building the car.In the past, when making fuel cars, car companies do not have to consider the combination of software and hardware.In the era of fuel cars, traditional giants have insurmountable technological advantages in mechanical components such as engines, gearboxes and chassis.But this mechanical technology doesn’t involve software, and the giants don’t need much coding power.Specifically, although there are dozens or even hundreds of ECUs on a conventional gasoline car, the software for those ecUs is not developed by the oEMS, but by Tier 1 suppliers such as Bosch, Continental and Amberford.Different electronic control units have completely different underlying codes, which the oEMS do not even have the authority to maintain and update.In 2020, Volkswagen CEO Diess said, with a bit of hyperbole, that Volkswagen didn’t write a single line of code itself.Different codes can be used for each part of the body of a petrol car, which does not affect engine rotation.But not smart cars, where all parts of the vehicle are controlled by the same underlying code to achieve functions such as autonomous driving.Further, in intelligent cars represented by Tesla, the central controller controls a series of high-authority chips such as the automatic driving chip and the central control screen processing chip, so as to control various functions of a car.And want to do this, we must write the core program and debug with the hardware, complete the combination of software and hardware.But we already know that the traditional auto giants aren’t a blank SLATE when it comes to software, or at least haven’t accumulated much.The gas giant that’s doing the best right now is actually Volkswagen, the one whose CEO made the pessimistic comments.Their ID.3 smart car is a pretty good product, thanks to Diess ‘bold decision in 2019 to transform Vw into a software-driven company and launch its Car.software division.By comparison, the transformation of many other fuel car giants has been slow and undetermined.From this point of view, the advantages of mobile phone factory is reflected.We talked about xiaomi’s ignorance in the initial stage, but ten years later today, they have accumulated enough experience in debugging hardware, especially in debugging chips.For example, for two consecutive years, mobile phones equipped with the latest snapdragon chips were released at the first time, not only because of qualcomm’s early supply, but also because of the tacit understanding between the two companies in chip debugging.There’s reason to believe that experience could be useful in a Qualcomm car.In addition to Xiaomi, other phone companies with plans to build cars have extensive experience working with chip companies like Qualcomm or, in the case of Apple, make chips themselves.Compared with traditional car companies, this may be the most significant advantage of mobile phone manufacturers.If the advantage of mobile phone manufacturers compared with traditional car companies is the combination of software and hardware, then compared with many new car makers, do they have an advantage?Another advantage, we believe, is that the big mobile manufacturers have sophisticated supply chain management systems.Many may have forgotten that Tesla, now in its glory days, had its back to the wall in 2018.At the time, Tesla was Mired in production hell, repeatedly delayed deliveries, and the story might not have been told without the Shanghai Gigafactory.In fact, until today, the word “capacity” is still a sword hanging over the head of many new car-making forces.Among many factors that constitute capacity problems, a very important dimension is supply chain management.Say, supply chain management this big thunder, many mobile phone manufacturers have been through.Xiaomi, for example, was nicknamed “Monkey Factory” because they were always out of stock in the early days.Xiaomi’s lack of stock smacked of hunger marketing, but in the beginning, they really had trouble with the supply chain.Find suppliers under the order more, there will be a huge inventory cost pressure, under the order less, and will be scolded by users “monkey”.It’s not just Xiaomi, which is as expensive as Apple and was often out of stock when earlier iPhone generations were released.Younger friends may not know that you really had to go to a physical store to buy an iPhone, which also gave birth to the iPhone scalping industry.Of course, the most amazing thing is the Smartisan mobile phone. At first, the fans who wanted to support Luo couldn’t buy it, but later, it suddenly turned out that Luo owed a lot of debt to the supplier, which can be said to understand the supply chain management.In a sense, supply chain management can be regarded as a disaster, through the big factory giants, not the past is mostly cool.Having said that, making mobile phones is not the same as making cars. If you can manage the supply chain of mobile phones, can you manage the supply chain of cars?Our view is that the chances are good.This opportunity is embodied in the word “system”.For example, as the first $3 trillion company on the planet, Apple has the world’s best supply chain management system, connecting all data from component suppliers to assembly plants to channels.Some say that every time hundreds of thousands of workers assemble an iPhone at Foxconn, a new and jumping number appears in Cook’s computers across the ocean.It’s conceivable that apple’s supply chain management system could also be used to build cars.A Chinese company like Xiaomi, even if it doesn’t have apple’s over-the-top systems, would certainly have an extremely sophisticated supply chain management system, or it wouldn’t be able to ship tens of millions of units worldwide every year.This is an intangible but huge wealth of experience compared with many new car-building forces who started from scratch.It’s also worth noting that building smartphones is not all that different from building smart cars.Major handset makers already have partnerships with core suppliers such as Qualcomm and BOE for key components such as chips and central control screens.Speaking of which, mobile phone manufacturers have an advantage over traditional car companies, and may also have an advantage over new car makers. Isn’t that invincible?Guys, just to be clear, that’s not really what we meant.To say the big day, it is not the same as building cars and mobile phones, mobile phone manufacturers want to build cars is advantageous, but also many challenges.For example, users trust you made mobile phone is not equal to trust your car, phone card the system restart once line, car system card can be deadly, again, making cars into tens of billions and billions of r&d, product development cycle often in four years, and millet was self-made do mobile phones, project released in less than two years, the difficulty.A giant like Apple, whose plans for a car were first mooted in 2014, has yet to see a wheel.By the way, Apple doesn’t seem to be making cars as fast as Evergrande…What we want to say is that Chinese mobile phone companies have built up some rare advantages in the past decade.We wonder if these advantages can be extended to benefit the entire Chinese tech industry.The so-called big companies have come to a crossroads between continuing to make money in their comfort zone or really focusing on something harder to crack, and smart cars may be a litmus test.