Apple Halts Electric Car Production Plans For Now – Project Titan Is Still Alive

8 months ago by Inside EVs Staff 29

Apple CEO Tim Cook Approved Project Titan In 2014. Maybe His New Direction Will Bring Us Christmas Eve Next Year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Approved Project Titan In 2014. Maybe His New Direction Will Bring Us Christmas Eve Next Year.

Bloomberg was at it again, milking some long-awaited, insider information on the status of Project Titan. Headlines give the impression that maybe the Apple Car’s fate is sealed, much like that of the Apple TV. But wait … Apple isn’t throwing in the towel. The key words are “for now”. The company is actually making some seemingly wise choices about the direction of Project Titan.

Will Apple CarPlay Become Autonomous Tech For Your Car?

Will Apple CarPlay Become Autonomous Tech For Your Car?

Although Apple has faced many speed bumps and roadblocks, Bloomberg reported that people with knowledge on the subject have verified that the company is still hiring for its car project. Amidst layoffs, direction changes, and employee departures, Apple is keeping the team in tact and adding talent.

Two people with information about Project Titan shared that the company has finally made some decisions. Apple will focus efforts on the autonomous technology over the course of the next year. This way, when the turning point arrives, the company will be free to share the tech and partner with interested parties, market it independent of a vehicle, or proceed with the Apple Car.

This all makes perfect sense since the self-driving tech could be off the ground much sooner than the vehicle itself. Also, with top-notch tech ready for display, stamped with the Apple brand name, the prospects of partnering becomes much more of a reality.

We know that Apple is still moving forward with the software, because after the company’s main software leader for the Apple Car, John Wright, departed, Dan Dodge of Blackberry fame stepped in to lead the autonomous team.

People with inside information about Project Titan have leaked that upper level executives finally delivered an ultimatum. Apple Car employees were told that the technology development will move forward until late 2017, at which time decisions will be made concerning the feasibility and official direction of the project.

Before the end of next year, reportedly, Apple will decide if its own car is still a possibility. The good news is that we should see some car-related, self-driving tech at that point in time, and hopefully have some more answers.

Source: Bloomberg, AppleCarFans

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29 responses to "Apple Halts Electric Car Production Plans For Now – Project Titan Is Still Alive"

  1. krona2k says:

    They really aught to move ahead with the vehicle production. The similarities between Tesla and Apple are often made and Apple could really use their brand recognition to enhance the EV cause.

    It’s not like they don’t have the money, though I guess most of it is ‘stranded’ for projects like this.

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      They don’t have balls. Cook is a glorified accountant. The best, but still an spreadsheet jockey. He just doesn’t have the character or vision to bet serious resources on risky initiatives.
      This is the real reason Apple just keeps accumulating cash. They literally don’t know what to do with it.

  2. ffbj says:

    Just as we thought.

    1. krona2k says:

      Well, the thinking at the time was wrong, it’s right now.

      Previously I did think Apple were going to produce an actual car, because Apple have always produced both hardware and software.

      I can’t see the existing manufacturers being willing to ‘brand’ their vehicles with an Apple OS and I can’t see Apple wanting to produce anything that doesn’t have their name on it.

      1. JOMIJON says:

        Apple, “We’ll Sell No Car Before It’s Time”

        1. ffbj says:

          Not Bad. Bloomberg said “Titan Fall.”
          A few of mine.
          Apples to Apples, Apple Car to Dust.
          The car that fell from grace with the road.
          Yes, we have no Apple Cars, we have no Apple Cars today. (dated) Just replace car manufacturers for the listed produce.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDd8shcLvHI

          1. ffbj says:

            ..It’s dead Jim…Time to say goodbye:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWQbuJ24Wzg

  3. David Murray says:

    What is the fate of the Apple TV? I just bought one. Are they discontinuing it?

    1. krona2k says:

      They don’t mean Apple TV. They mean a TV, an actual display device, made by Apple.

      Still not entirely sure why they didn’t do it, yes the margins on TVs are small, but the Apple TV isn’t that expensive.

      The reasoning is probably that the market for an Apple branded TV might be no better, or even worse, than the Apple TV box.

      1. Just_Chris says:

        I think these comments really show exactly what is going on at Apple. Apple are the absolute kings when it comes to timing and cherry picking the high profit part of the value chain. They started looking at making TV’s, realized that there was no money to be made in TV’s so went for a box. You just need to look at the Japanese TV manufacturers to see that they were right.

        The question is how will the self driving car pan out? Will it be an option on all cars, will you need a compatible car or will you need a specific Apple car? I have no idea but IMO Apple will not be the first to market but they be in pretty shortly after the first few and will dominate this space.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Well, good to see a rumor that Apple is proceeding on its autonomous driving technology, as I predicted and still expect to happen.

    But I don’t see that this is any more than a rumor. And I still don’t believe that Apple ever had any serious intention of actually building cars.

    As I’ve said in several previous posts, it makes sense for Apple to do an “Apple Inside” project, making hardware and software to put into cars made by other companies. Something similar to OnStar, perhaps.

    But Apple’s products and services are very far removed from the capital intensive, thin profit margin heavy industry that is building automobiles. Apple markets consumer electronics and services, concentrating on high profit market products, and has absolutely no involvement in heavy industry at all.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Somehow Jony Ive convinced the board to green light the project…He did the same getting them to create the Gold apple watch which was far more than just making the watch out of Gold; it required making gold harder and stores had to be equipped with jewelry scales (for returns) safes and extra security…Apple just recently discontinued it and maybe are looking for a cache to dumped onto ebay at a huge discount which Apple is known to do…Was reported Apple were going to use the platform of the BMW i3, but it fell through…Fundamental problem is unlike other manufactures, Apple doesn’t build it’s own products, they contract them out to other companies to produce…

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Bacardi said:

        “Fundamental problem is unlike other manufactures, Apple doesn’t build it’s own products, they contract them out to other companies to produce…”

        And why do you label that a “problem”, let alone a fundamental one? Apple has been, in some years, the most profitable company of any in the world. Obviously they have a very successful business model!

        I’ve seen some claims that Apple might make an “iCar” by farming out the manufacture of the entire thing to a company like Magna Steyr. While it’s certainly not impossible that Apple could get an EV into limited production that way, what those people are overlooking is that Apple contracts its products to be made to its exact specifications and designs. Obviously Apple is very successful at designing desirable high-end consumer electronics. That means they understand, in very great detail, how to design and manufacture those.

        But Apple has absolutely no experience or expertise in designing cars, so they wouldn’t be able to give the same level of supervision to designing and building an iCar.

        As I have pointed out, the heavy industry of building automobiles is far outsize Apple’s area of expertise, or comfort zone. That’s one of the two major reasons why I just don’t see it happening. The other is that making automobiles is very capital intensive, yet produces a pretty small profit margin… which again, is completely outside of Apple’s business model.

  5. Bacardi says:

    How about letting us use Waze or Google Maps on CarPlay before worrying about a car?

    1. Fabian says:

      +1000

  6. taser54 says:

    Most likely the Chevy Bolt caused them to go back to the drawing board.

    1. Bacardi says:

      Apple has never cared about being the cheapest or having the best battery life, it’s always a premium product…

  7. Another Euro point of view says:

    Car business, one of the most reliable ways to make a small fortune out of a big one. Their fortune could use this treatment, it must be very cumbersome.

  8. Vexar says:

    I wonder what market Apple will go after when they decide to jump in? The Paris Auto Show is a clear indication of several manufacturers’ readiness to compete. Methinks they got shy all of the sudden. What makes the most sense is that they compete in the autonomy segment of the automotive market. Compete with nVidia and Bosch, not Tesla and GM. Or, maybe they will do something inane, like make charging systems, cables, and adapters, and introduce their own fast charging standard.

  9. Kdawg says:

    I heard the Apple car wasn’t going to have a charging port, as all charging was to be wireless.

    1. ffbj says:

      It’s not likely to ever exist so speculation as to what it may or may not have seems rather pointless, no?

      1. Kdawg says:

        (whoosh!)
        🙂

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I couldn’t tell you were kidding, either. It helps to append a smiley when it’s just a joke.

  10. MDEV says:

    Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs, he doesn’t have the vision, look at the phones and the watch very lame if we compare with Steve standards. I don’t think he can pull this off.

    1. Fabian says:

      Agreed. Tim Cook need to find a REAL Steve Jobs replacement and then step aside. Tim is just keeping Apple afloat and that is no way to keep Steve’s legacy alive.

      1. ffbj says:

        Keeping afloat while others are going down in flames, (Samsung) is not really all that bad.

        1. Alonso Perez says:

          Sure.

          But I would hope a guy earning $400 million in options alone would do better than “not that bad”. He’s just not worth what they are paying him if all he can manage is stasis.

  11. cab says:

    I can’t help but think that Teslas best chance for long term survival would be a giant cash rich partner with an awesome brand name and penchant for innovation (or at least spinning innovation). Apple + Tesla – sheesh, a super brand in the making. Musk would be the visionary…what could possibly go wrong. ;>

    Somewhat more seriously though, I agree with Just_Chris above. The car industry isn’t exactly a fun one and heavy industry, with a zillion suppliers isn’t exactly a fun one. Why bother?

  12. Someone out there says:

    I am kind of disappointed. I don’t really like Apple but I was curious to see what they would come up with.