Apple has gifted the world with a library of gadgets which have since change into family names, a lot of which we use day by day. There’s the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Professional, and AirPods; however while you suppose Apple, Automotive just isn’t the primary phrase to come back to thoughts. Which may quickly change as latest information has breathed new life into over ten years of rumors surrounding Apple’s try at an electrical automotive. Right here’s the whole lot we all know to date, together with the winding street of a backstory that introduced us so far.
Apple’s try at an electrical automotive
Tech titan Apple could also be stepping a bit out of its consolation zone — okay, manner out of its consolation zone — in trying to create an electrical automotive, but when any firm has the assets and cashflow to tug off such a lofty aim, Apple could be close to the highest of most individuals’s lists. Whereas latest updates have stirred the hypothesis pot amongst Apple and EV fans alike, this story stays a piece in progress and commenced so much longer in the past than you would possibly suppose.
The Apple Automotive saga dates again round 2007. Apple execs had tossed around the idea of an electric car, however determined as a substitute to focus all assets to the event of a brand new type of good mobile phone referred to as the iPhone. That call appears to have paid off, however not even a yr later, Steve Jobs was brainstorming how Apple might develop its personal automotive.
From there, the rumor and innuendo slowly light into the shadows of Apple’s headliner electronics — merchandise that have been considerably smaller and cheaper than a automobile. That’s till 2015, when a report revealed Apple could not have given up on its automotive dream in spite of everything.
Apple Autonomous Driving
After suspicious mini vans with cameras on high noticed round San Francisco have been linked to leases by Apple, the rumor mill as soon as once more opened its doorways for enterprise. Experiences on the time acknowledged that an Apple worker revealed the tech big had a mission that may “give Tesla a run for its cash.” This information got here shortly after reviews of a conflict between Apple and Tesla in poaching one another’s staff. Tesla CEO Elon Musk so boldly referred to as Apple a “Tesla graveyard,” as a result of advanced and painstaking technique of creating and manufacturing automobiles he had skilled first hand.
Musk would proceed to criticize the tech big, claiming that Apple’s plans to construct an electrical automotive have been “an open secret.” He went on to say that it’s onerous to maintain a mission secret when you must rent 1,000 engineers (a few of them former Tesla alum) to do it.
What is very humorous in regards to the previous 5 years of jabs at Apple, is Elon Musk’s latest reveal that he had tried to sell Tesla to Apple for 1/10 of its present worth, and CEO Tim Cook dinner wouldn’t even take the assembly.
Now Tesla sits because the world’s most respected automaker by market cap, whereas solely little crumbs of particulars start to floor about Apple’s potential electrical automotive mission, nicknamed “Undertaking Titan.”
In early 2016, Apple was reported to have registered numerous completely different domains, hinting on the monicker of its automobile program as “Undertaking Titan.” Moreover Apple was suspected to be working Undertaking Titan beneath a shell firm called SixtyEight Research in Sunnyvale California. It had bought a wide range of actual property property in that space, fueling hypothesis as the realm checked plenty of packing containers for constructing a automotive. This transfer, together with the hiring of a number of executives and engineers from rival automakers, supported a rumor that Apple had plans to debut an electrical automotive.
From there the path went chilly as soon as once more — or at the least went foggy as to the general aim of the mission. Quickly thereafter, rumors started that Undertaking Titan had deserted the event of its personal electrical automotive and had as a substitute turned its focus to autonomous driving. That plan would entail Apple creating the self-driving know-how whereas counting on a separate auto producer to construct the vessels themselves.
That gave the impression to be Apple’s plan of action within the automative recreation, till early 2019 when it laid off 200 employees from its autonomous vehicle department. Apple referred to as the transfer “employees restructuring” and nonetheless projected nice confidence in its program. Later that yr, a number of extra of Apple’s self-driving automobiles have been noticed and mentioned to be outfitted with new cameras, sensors and LiDAR.
Undertaking Titan immediately
Now it appears Undertaking Titan has pivoted but once more. In response to a report from Reuters in late 2020, Apple plans to proceed to develop its autonomous driving know-how, with plans to provide its personal passenger automobile to showcase it by 2024. So now we seem to have a latest nod to an Apple Automotive again within the works, and a brand new timeline for when the world would possibly catch a glimpse of it. If it wasn’t obvious from this mission’s winding historical past so far, even Reuters‘ latest information should have an asterisk:
There’s nonetheless an opportunity Apple will determine to cut back the scope of its efforts to an autonomous driving system that may be built-in with a automotive made by a conventional automaker, moderately than the iPhone maker promoting an Apple-branded automotive, one of many folks added.
Rumored Apple Automotive options
Since Apple unsurprisingly declined to touch upon Reuters’ latest report, it might be some time earlier than the tech world (or your complete world for that matter) learns what Apple really has in retailer for its personal automotive. For now, we solely know small tidbits that trace at what Apple is creating, and the way it would possibly match right into a future EV.
One factor that’s most related whether or not Apple manufactures its personal automobile or contracts it out is the give attention to autonomous driving. Present rival (however not but rival?) Tesla has just lately made big strides towards full-self driving capabilities amongst its fleet of electrical automobiles. All indicators level to FSD as the way forward for vehicular journey, whether or not it turns into higher suited to particular person house owners, or for public transit and trip share choices like autonomous taxis.
Apple has not but proven its hand as to what house it has honed in on, so it could possibly be each… or it could possibly be neither. For now, wager that Apple will proceed to give attention to sharpening no matter autonomous driving AI tech it does have and determine from there what precisely to do with it.
Apple and EV followers alike can look forward to a new battery design as properly… no matter that entails. The Reuters report revealed:
Central to Apple’s technique is a brand new battery design that might “radically” scale back the price of batteries and improve the automobile’s vary, in accordance with a 3rd one that has seen Apple’s battery design.
Apple has declined to remark about what this supposed new design will provide, so it’s understandably onerous to get enthusiastic about. This previous fall, Tesla began manufacturing its own powerful battery cells with hopes of surpassing the present world manufacturing capability of lithium-ion battery cells. It’s powerful to guess the place Apple is on its battery timeline primarily based off a 3rd individual report, however they greater than seemingly could have some catching as much as do on Tesla. Elon had some ideas on the matter:
Apple electrical automotive launch date?
As beforehand talked about, Apple reportedly hopes to have some form of Apple automobile by 2024. Whether or not that automotive is totally designed and manufactured by Apple, or commissioned to a different automaker is but to be confirmed.
To that be aware, latest rumors have begun to swell additional across the potential Apple Automotive launch. An Apple analyst just lately referred to as the present market “too bullish” and speculated drivers may not see Apple’s premiere vehicle until 2028. Ideally, Apple comes forward with its own news and might verify a few of the hypothesis talked about above, however for now all of us must wait till one other leaked tidbit steers the lots in a brand new course. We’ve already waited 13 years for concrete solutions, what’s one other few?
Hold it locked to 9to5Mac and Electrek and we’ll maintain you within the loop.
FTC: We use earnings incomes auto affiliate hyperlinks. More.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.