Apple Registers Domains Apple.car, Apple.auto, Apple.cars

1 year ago by Jay Cole 17

Apple Carves Out A Little More Room On The Internet For Project Titan?

Apple Carves Out A Little More Room On The Internet For Project Titan?

Apple's Secretive "Titan" Project Is Actually Said To Be More Mini-Van Like Than Car

Apple’s Secretive “Titan” Project Is Actually Said To Be More Mini-Van Like Than Car

In perhaps another (in a long list) of signs that Apple is about to get into the electric and autonomous car building game, the tech giant has registered three new web domain names (via Whois records updated today):

Apple.car, Apple.cars and Apple.autos

Over the past year Apple has been working on an automotive effort called “Project Titan“, scouted uber-private testing grounds, and hired numerous auto executives (here, here, here, here, etc.) along the way.

Many of those employees have come from Tesla; which ultimately stirred up a public battle between the two companies, before the hatchet looks to have been dropped this past October with a series of back-peddling tweets by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Via MacRumors, Hat tip to Jamie H!

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17 responses to "Apple Registers Domains Apple.car, Apple.auto, Apple.cars"

  1. Anon says:

    It will be interesting to see what they bring to the table for EV consumers.

  2. offib says:

    Ah ha! I just love how Apple missed about ’cause Mitsubishi pretty much called dibs 11 years in advance!

  3. kosee says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of most of their project but maybe the controlled closed software that’s more annoying than useful for phones and computers could be very useful in a car that needs such controlled environment.

    1. FSJ says:

      Amen. +1

    2. Jacked says:

      Totally agree about iOS but OS X freakin’ rocks. If I could have a Finder and Terminal in iOS it could be just as good…

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I’ve argued in several posts here at InsideEVs that the heavy industry of automobile manufacturing is a poor fit for Apple’s business, and that it would make more sense if what they are really aiming for is an “Apple Inside” sort of business venture, selling hardware and software for making cars autonomous. Kinda like what LG Electronics is doing with OnStar.

    But this move by Apple makes it appear they really are seriously considering selling actual cars, not just equipment to be installed in cars made by existing auto makers.

    1. Paul Stoller says:

      One of the other things Apple excels at is managing it’s supply chain (thanks to Tim Cook actually he ran their supply chain for years before becoming CEO). They may not have the experience, but I could easily see them put the right deals together with the right existing automotive suppliers and essentially design, market and sell the cars. One thing is certain they can certainly afford to enter the market with all of that cash they are sitting on.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Apple is one of the very, very few companies in the world that actually has the billions of dollars lying around that you’d need to start a new auto manufacturing company without having to borrow money or have investors.

        But why would Apple want to enter an industry characterized by very high capital investments and very low profit margins? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

        Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, when founding Tesla Motors, thought they could build cars the way Silicon Valley builds computers. It was a long, hard learning curve for them to discover that no, you really can’t run a heavy industry as if it’s a light industry. Tesla had to hire some auto manufacturing execs, people with experience in Detroit and elsewhere, before they actually started making cars that they could sell.

        There isn’t any magic formula here. I’ve seen it suggested that Apple can farm out mass production of an “Apple Car” to Foxconn or another of its current suppliers. This is wholly unrealistic. Foxconn makes electronics, not cars. Auto assembly plants for mass produced cars are huge, they take billions of dollars to create, thousands of employees, and years to get up and running.

        Foxconn can no doubt convert some existing cars into test “mules” Apple, and maybe within a few years they could build or convert a factory capable of small-scale production of a pricey “boutique” car, partly hand-built. That’s what Tesla did with its Roadster, its first car.

        But no way is that approach going to produce cars in any significant volume.

        I hope that Apple’s leaders have better sense than Tesla’s founders had. If not, they’ll have to go through the same “school of hard knocks” learning curve.

        1. Anon says:

          Um, Foxconn is certainly making strategic alliances to go into EV production…

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/ywang/2015/03/23/tencent-partners-with-foxconn-in-electric-car-business/

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Your link is broken.

            Here’s one that’s not:

            http://www.pcworld.com/article/2900452/foxconn-partners-with-chinas-tencent-on-smart-electric-cars.html

            I don’t think you paid any attention to what I wrote. As I said, there’s no magic formula here; no way to get around the reality that building cars is heavy industry. If two or three electronics companies try to partner to build cars, then they will run into exactly the same problems that Tesla did.

        2. Jacked says:

          In my view if Apple builds their car in China it will be DOA.

          Thankfully, import duties and shipping costs argue for US production. Cook is also on record as saying he wants to move manufacturing back to the US and he has done so with Apple’s Mac Pro, a low volume product, but nevertheless a beginning.

          I still have a bad feeling about an Apple car. Apple have been rather unfocused since Jobs left the company and their only entirely new product, the Watch, leaves one with a “what’s the point” feeling.

  5. Alan says:

    What’s from stopping Apple buying an existing auto manufacturing company which already has expertise in pressing metal ?

    1. Kosh says:

      This.

      And I’m willing to bet that Apple doesn’t want to sell you cars. They want to sell you a monthly service to access an autonomous car network.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That would certainly be a far more realistic scenario than getting Foxconn to do it.

      But everyone responding to my points on this subject ignores the central question. Yes, Apple could get into the heavy industry of auto manufacturing.

      But why would they want to?

      This is a view inside an Apple factory:
      https://regmedia.co.uk/2013/05/09/chinese_factory.jpg?x=648&y=348&crop=1

      This is a view inside an auto assembly factory:
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Zin88AInexU/VGOdNDBD-9I/AAAAAAAA_x4/-SyJmSXUzEY/s1600/7292818996_17f7c2e597_k.jpg

      I’m sure Apple sees the difference. But apparently a lot of people here don’t.

      1. Bonaire says:

        The difference is in terms of money-spend on robots and other things that can make a car as well as those low-paid employees required to stand all day making our phones.

        Your Tesla picture shows an auto factory bought on the cheap from a bankrupt auto-industry situation. Tesla also bought used presses and shipped them cross-country. Can or should Apple buy products on the cheap or pay full price for the building construction, robots and all the rest? Doing that raises their cost of entry.

        But Foxconn has already entered the EV space and has spent resources building automotive factories.

        http://www.techworld.com/news/personal-tech/foxconn-develop-electric-cars-rival-tesla-3605243/

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          You’d better read the article you linked to again. What it says is that three companies with absolutely no experience in heavy manufacturing have formed a partnership with the intent of building cars someday.

          Maybe that will happen; maybe it won’t. If it does happen, it likely will be just another of those tiny Chinese auto makers which spring up overnight, and disappear just as quickly.

          The idea that a plan on paper rivals Tesla is pretty silly.

  6. Phr3d says:

    If the car is more like a toaster and doesn’t even Offer a well designed ‘driver experience’, i.e., all indications are that they want to make autonomous robots for uber-style duties, you lower the costs dramatically.
    The Yugo comes to mind, if not for the fact that it drove like utter crap, had a lousy ICE engine, and parts fell off of it while new on the dealer lot, it was a good cheap car.
    Now eliminate All customer complaints about those issues, and install an EV drivetrain and Apple charging, put in comfortable seats, and Most industry expenses are minimized.
    A car that takes you to the theatre or grocery store, a`la Yellow Cab, doesn’t need to be particularly good at Any of the things we pay big money for, just comfortable and entertaining at a per mile fee that continues to make Apple richer than..