You may have heard the recent buzz and speculation surrounding the ever elusive “Apple Car” supposedly being developed by the Cupertino powerhouse. Nothing has been officially confirmed nor denied, but there are several sources speaking out in support that Apple is, in fact, working on their very own vehicle—while at the same time, naysayers suggest the speculation to be simply ridiculous, often retorting with what a poor business decision the development would be.
Apple Car or not, we’ve rounded up all the info we could nail down to bring you the latest on the Apple Car:
To Be Or Not To Be
First of all, is this thing even happening? There are more than a few sources outright denying the existence of the car’s development, including Mashable, explaining that the manufacturing complexities and requirement of outsourcing in the auto industry is simply “not the Apple way”, and that this is not the type of space that has made Apple such an irreplaceable brand.
“[Apple’s] play is to find a broken category (or at least an underserved one), build a category-defining product that fixes the model and shows others the way, and then reap the rewards of the market it essentially built.
The auto industry is not one of those markets.”
Recently, however, despite these sorts of negations, reports have been circling that strongly support the development of the Apple Car. 9to5Mac, an Apple intelligence blog often known for their sources inside the company, has been sending out reports in the last 24 hours with information seemingly confirming development. The blog references a post by Bloomberg Business, stating in the opening lines:
“Apple Inc., which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said.”
According to these sources, Apple employees and other sources have alluded to the possibility that Apple has been working on the branded car under the code name “Titan”, approved by Tim Cook over a year ago.
We have a few more clues on the car, folks. If you didn’t hear, Apple hit record profits last quarter at $18 billion. Tim Cook is no doubt feeling the heat from shareholders, which might be further incentive to believe such a bold move is in the works. Let’s not forget—the ground-breaking Apple watch is set to launch this April.
And much like the Apple Watch team, it has been rumored that the Car team is made up of poached experts from companies like Tesla, battery technology manufacturers, and other people from related fields with strong automotive backgrounds. In fact, Huffington Post reported that “A123 Systems, a company that makes electric car batteries, is suing Apple for poaching its employees.”
Though we haven’t seen leaks for what the car may look like or how it will operate, there have of course been rumors from sources like employees, one in particular who stated the car would “give Tesla a run for its money.” Some have noted it is minivan-like, having seen potential test drives in New York. Whether the car is self-driving, electric, or semi-autonomous is up in the air as of now, but with the self-driving Google car being such an innovative hot spot in the news, it is likely that Apple will implement autonomous driving as the car develops later.
Some other hints that allude to the car’s actual development include Apple reportedly utilizing their own tech for autos by incorporating car features. For example, according to HuffPost, earlier in February, Patently Apple “reported that the company was granted a patent for technology allowing iPhones to unlock and start a car.” Along with Apple’s CarPlay, it might make sense to consider something bigger to come. Huffington Post, however, made sure to note that often Apple tests and patents ideas and technologies that are never put on the market.
Tesla, an obvious competitor with its high-profile, sleek, electric rides, is rumored to be coming out with a model for under $40,000 that gets 200 miles on one charge in 2017, giving the company a three-year head start on Apple’s projected launch date of 2020.
In addition, talks surrounding BMW have alluded to their own creation of an electric car. The rumormill notes BMW’s model will be going after Tesla, with a powerhouse long-lasting electric car. BMWblog notes that “if 2018 is the target launch date, we believe a concept could appear as early as next year.”
Heard anything about the illustrious Apple car? Think it’s a bad business move—or yet another Apple product one day we’ll all want?