Who’s to Blame for CarPlay Missing from Tesla Cars? Not Apple, That’s for Sure


And while iPhones do play nice with Tesla cars, they could actually play even nicer, only that someone mysteriously doesn’t want this to happen.

It all comes down to CarPlay, an iPhone-powered system whose adoption is on the rise all over the world and which provides drivers with a car-optimized experience projected right on the large display inside the cabin.

While such capabilities have become more common these days, they’re missing from Tesla cars, despite the American EV manufacturer betting all-in on new-gen technology. It’s not a secret that Tesla owners have been asking for CarPlay and Android Auto support in their cars for years, but up to this point, there’s absolutely no sign that such a thing could happen. Not now and probably not in the future as well.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a very solid track on Apple scoops, says in the last Power On newsletter that CarPlay missing from Tesla cars is more likely to come down “to decisions from the carmaker than Apple.”

In other words, the Cupertino-based tech giant isn’t the one to blame for CarPlay not being available on Tesla cars, especially as the company wants its system, along with services like Apple Music, to be available everywhere. Including in the most successful EV in America, that is.

So at the first glance, Tesla might be the company that says no to such a highly requested feature, partially because it “doesn’t want to give up control of its interface,” as Gurman says.

At some level, this makes sense, especially given Apple is building on its own EV that many see as a potential Tesla rival. By bringing CarPlay in the Model S cabin, for example, Apple could end up competing against Tesla in its own yard, and when the Apple Car is ready to launch, this could become an important catalyst of a potential migration to the new vehicle.

For the time being, however, if there’s someone who doesn’t want CarPlay in Tesla cars, it’s probably the carmaker itself. Whether or not the company changes this approach anytime soon is something that remains to be seen, but given the Apple Car is becoming more of a certain thing these days, the closer we get to its launch, the smaller the chances for CarPlay to launch in a Tesla.