You are totally right about more and more companies simply using other providers' software and data. Why reinvent the wheel (or the map) if someone else has collected all the data and is managing the ongoing process of maintaining the quality of that data. It's going to be interesting to see who ends up being the provider of all these data-related services. Not everyone is happy using Google. That's why Apple switched to getting map & nav data from TomTom and Uber was bidding billions on buying Navitec from Nokia. Neither company wants to be dependent on Google or let Google totally control that space.I'm a bit skeptical of cars being the new PCs because it seems more like the locus of control and decision making would be embodied in the person who gets in the car and sets the destination. The car is really just another thin client under the control of the user. Apple is trying to make hand-offs of a person's contextual state as seamless as possible so that a person might start an email on their iPad at home, continue composing it on their iPhone as they walk to the train station or drive to work, then finish and send from their Mac at work. Or, when an email comes to the person, it automatically shows up on whichever device they are using. No doubt, Google is working on the same. I think the car would be just one more host for the user's virtual workspace.You are right about the Mercedes example -- the car maker does not have the information technology experience to do the data side of information-enabled physical mobility. Yet Mercedes does know how to handle the physical-industrial-retail side of designing a car, getting suppliers for all the parts, building cars, and selling them to the public. What's interesting is that Google doesn't know the physical side of product manufacturing -- Google creates the software (e.g., Android, Chrome OS, etc.) and licenses it to Samsung, LG, Acer, HP, etc. who design, source, manufacture, and sell the phones, tablets, and laptops. What extremely interesting is that Apple embodies both the data and the physical side of making technological products. Tim Cook is a manufacturing guy and the company clearly knows how to run a high-volume, global manufacturing and distribution system. Apple (unlike Google) also knows how to do retail.And then there's Amazon. They have deep experience in both the back-end data systems and the front-end retail. They are working on the distribution and last-mile delivery issues. But they are weak in the hardware/manufacturing area.