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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Lucid Senior Vice President of Digital and former Apple Executive Mike Bell joins us on this week's episode of The MacRumors Show to discuss the iPhone, AirPort, Vision Pro, CarPlay, and more.

Mike worked at Apple from 1991 to 2007 and played a significant role in development of hardware products like the iPhone, iMac, AirPort, and Apple TV, as well as software features like Boot Camp. After leaving Apple, he worked at Palm, Intel, and Rivian, and now leads digital at luxury electric automaker Lucid.

We reflect on the success of the iPhone since Mike's work to deliver the original model and where it stands today. We also look at Apple's Vision Pro headset and consider whether it will catch on. Mike discusses AirPort, a personal-favorite product that he led, how he feels about its discontinuation, and whether Apple is likely to return to the product line in the future.

We talk through the process and importance of integrating Apple CarPlay in Lucid vehicles, as well as the challenges involved in bringing new digital features to EVs. We also discuss Mike's experience of working at Apple as a senior decision-maker in the 1990s and 2000s, how the company changed in the formative period in which he was there, similarities between Lucid and Apple, and more.

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Article Link: The MacRumors Show: Former Apple Executive Mike Bell Talks AirPort, CarPlay, and More


macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2020
San Jose, CA
This was a nice interview, even though it was one of the shorter podcasts that's come lately. I am surprised though we haven't gotten an episode talking about all the software updates that occurred the same week the Iphone came out. I thought that episode would be happening sooner rather than later, but it really has been all the hardware improvements lately.
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Oct 10, 2011
That was an outstanding and fascinating interview! Hat-tip to Dan and Hartley. And to Mike Bell. Living in the SF Bay Area it's tempting to visit the Lucid showroom and look at their cars.
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macrumors 65816
Oct 16, 2008
Mike Bell contributed to a lot of highly innovative Apple products. Such innovation does not happen in today's Apple because Tim Cook prioritizes profits above all else. Cook likes to sell old technology at cutting-edge technology prices. (That's why over 20-year-old USB 2.0 is still used in the latest non-Pro iPhone.)

Since Cook is a mediocre MBA suit, his biggest priority is maximizing profits. If that means releasing a iPhone 15, 14, 13, and 12 that all look like an iPhone 11, he'll do that.

Thanks to Cook being a bean counter, the exceptional talents of someone like Mike Bell would not be valued, appreciated, and implemented today to anywhere near same extent as they were during the Steve Jobs era.
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macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2014
looks like the end of sales for physical media. scary.

Not end, just reduced to a niche, but that’s been happening for awhile. Like vinyl records, physical media will likely stay available via online and maybe small shops. As long as digital/streaming media is lossless quality and cannot be owned (completely and conveniently), I think there will always be a niche for physical media.


macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2022
This was definitely of the most boring episodes to date. I guess it is great if you are into EVs. However, this podcast had very little to do with Apple. It was ten minutes of the guest's history with Apple and then a 25 minute sales pitch for why Lucid is the greatest EV car ever. I look forward to next week's episode.


macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2020
Anyone know why he left Apple in 2007? Just curious.
Not sure but after Apple he worked at Palm, and during the interview Bell briefly mentioned that he was offered the opportunity to 'make the next iPhone.' It sounds like this is what tempted him away.
(obviously the Palm thing didn't work out, but he eventually landed at Lucid, where it sounds like he's been doing solid work for the past 3 years and is genuinely excited to be there)


macrumors member
Aug 9, 2010
I use a gutted, inverted, last-gen airport, mounted on a wall, as a pen holder. Still makes me wistful sometimes. SO pathetic, I know.
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macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2020
I miss the Apple airport with built in hard drives. I still use one that I’ve modded 8TB of NVME SSDs into. And it works great over my Linux network with file sharing.
We still use one too although it’s now relegated to just basically a NAS hard drive. We use other WiFi routers to provide WiFi
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macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2019
The AirPort Express has never seen an exact equivalent and, quite frankly, I think Apple only ceased production in order to further HomePod sales and stop the likes of me streaming to legacy speakers. They failed as my 2 AirPort Express units are still working faultlessly!
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