The smartphone started as a coveted device. The systems folks put in exciting new hardware – a powerful APU, camera, display, MEMS and the works. The advent of apps as well as the providing of the reference designs for system vendors turned this (and especially the semiconductor content inside) towards a commodity path. The folks which held sway were the ones who opted for verticalization – figuring out how to get the most up to date technology without losing control of the content within their systems.
The traditional car manufacturers are now pitted with/against the technology folks on the move towards autonomous vehicles. Will the former hold their own positioning a car as a sophisticated high tech desirable product? Will the tech companies transform the car ultimately as a mobility commodity? There will be space for either especially in the interim and either way (or others), it leads to empowering the driver who can decide to drive or not to drive.