Apple Is Working On Secret “Titan” Van-Like EV With Ex-Tesla Engineers

2 years ago by Jay Cole 86

Report: Apple Working On Project "Titan" With Help From Tesla Employees (DELIVER Electric Van shown)

Report: World’s Largest Company (by market cap) Apple Is  Currently Working On Project “Titan”, A Van-Like EV, With Some Help From Ex-Tesla Employees (DELIVER Electric Van by Liberty shown above)

There has been little secret of late of a war brewing between Apple and Tesla Motors to obtain each other’s brain trust.  Recently the Tesla CEO Elon Musk has lamented Apple’s more aggressive head-hunting at Tesla of late saying they are offering signing bonuses of $250,000 and 60% raises.

“Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla. But so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”

Is Apple Just Testing The Waters With Project "Titan" Or Is World Domination In The Cards?

Is Apple Just Testing The Waters With Project “Titan” Or Is World Domination In The Cards?

But if you think Apple’s recent ratcheting up of recruiting is unfair, it isn’t.  Tesla has reported poached over 150 Apple employees, including the man who now serves as Tesla’s current vehicle chief, Doug Field.

Now comes word on just exactly why Apple has fought back, grabbing Tesla engineers and other professionals across the automotive segment – a secret electric vehicle program.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive has held meetings with automotive executives and engineers around the space, looking to hire them away to work on project “Titan”.

Apparently, Apple CEO Tim Cook has given the green light to the project, which current has “several hundred” employees on the job, and may shortly expand up to 1,000 people – working at their own development facility and “secret lab” away from Apple’s main Infinite Loop campus.

According to the report, at the head of the project is iPhone designer Steve Zadesky, formerly of Ford fame, who recently has been researching “robotics, metals and materials consistent with automobile manufacturing.”   Johann Jungwirth, former Mercedes-Benz R&D head is also connected to the project.

As for the “Titan” projects specifics, none is really know, other than the vehicle is minivan-like“.  Whether or not the unnamed EV is actually a mini-van or just a large utility vehicle is still unknown.

Whatever the reason Apple has decided to get into the electric vehicle game, whether if be simple annoyance with Tesla from CEO Cook, or a desire to further rule the world, it doesn’t much matter to us – as Apple has the ability to advance the plug-in vehicle segment faster than any other single company – if they so desire.

Currently, Apple has more spare, unused resources available to throw at building electric vehicles than…well, anyone else in the universe.  So much that they have the ability to buy and sell Tesla 7 times over with the $180 billion or so of loose change they just have lying around in their sofa, and a $740 billion dollar company market cap.

We look forward to test driving the “iCar” of the future.

Wall Street Journal

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86 responses to "Apple Is Working On Secret “Titan” Van-Like EV With Ex-Tesla Engineers"

  1. Mark Hovis says:

    That looks like two different pictures. Where did you snag that chief?!
    Apple AND Google eyeing the EV world. The times they are a changin….

    1. jmollard says:

      I bet Apple is working on a driverless “Roomba” like minibus for public transport. It’s such a good idea because taxis are so damn expensive (and not to mention dangerous drivers) and this would cut the cost in half and be much safer. Of course Google is already doing this, but Apple will do it better.

      1. Mint says:

        I really haven’t seen Apple do anything technically impressive with software, and even with hardware it’s only their SoC’s CPU core that’s excellent (but still well behind Intel).

        Apple is exceptionally good at integrating and refining existing tech into a cohesive vision. If there’s a company out there doing autonomous driving better than Google, then Apple will find/acquire them and integrate it, but there’s zero precedent to think they can develop the tech better than Google can.

  2. V. Bowman says:

    I applaud the effort of any new electric vehicle as it only furthers the cause I’m terms of general awareness and increased market desire. That being said… I think the designers need to be sent back to Tesla for a refresher course as this thing makes the Leaf look like a beauty queen.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      True enough. Although the picture above (as noted in the caption) is actually the DELIVER electric van by Liberty Electric Cars.

      There is no images of the “Titan” project yet. We were just looking the library for something “van-like” but also quasi-futuristic, (=

      …but when there is, well – y’know, it’ll be here.

      1. wavelet says:

        OK, just before publishing any unauthorized pictures, remember Apple has a rep of being really nasty about such things 🙂 Be very afraid…

      2. V. Bowman says:

        Thanks for the clarification Jay. I guess my eye was so blinded by the …ahem…vehicle… that I missed the tagline regarding Liberty Electric Cars. Whew… for a moment I thought the designers at Apple were suffering a collective stroke!

        1. Mark Hovis says:

          did the same…

  3. tftf says:

    Do people realize the magnitude of this news?

    This and the GM Bolt news will probably go down in car history, not just EV history, the car industry might look very different a few years from now.

    I see more IT companies (e.g. Google and Asian tech companies), battery companies (e.g. cars from Samsung or otzer battery suppliers forward-integrating and making complete cars in the future) or other new entrants (e.g. Uber, Lyft and similar networks creating their own semi-automated cars over time).

    The car industry will never look the same, that includes huge risks for smaller existing players (including Tesla).

    1. Lensman says:

      Well, the magnitude of this news really depends on what it indicates.

      If it actually does indicate that Apple is moving into the EV manufacturing field, then it’s the biggest news -ever- regarding the modern EV revolution. With Apple’s very deep pockets, they could easily wrest the leadership of the EV revolution from Tesla, altho — unlike their move into the cellphone industry — it would take them at least a few years to ramp up to outperforming and out-producing Tesla.

      Contrariwise, if it’s just a special project for developing a few experimental prototypes, like Google’s “driverless” cars, it may not have much impact on the EV revolution.

      1. tftf says:

        Lensman, please read the original sources from the FT and the WSJ and see the numbers and reporting structure, people involved. The FT and WSJ sources on Apple news are usually very accurate.

        Unless the project is stopped (can always happen, cars are multi-year projects) it’s quite clear where Apple is headed. This is not some for some small demo.

        1. Lensman says:

          Can’t read the /Wall Street Journal article/; that requires a paid subscription.

          Dunno what “FT” means in this context; can you provide a link?

          And even if Apple has hired 150 engineers to work on the project, I still doubt that’s an indication they are planning to make an actual production car. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Google has that many engineers working on its “self-driving” car project.

          I see Jay Cole has similar thoughts (see his posts elsewhere in these comments), so if I’m wrong, at least I’m in good company.

          1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

            FT is the Financial Times, the UK equivalent of the WSJ.

            1. Lensman says:

              Thanks!

              Here’s the link to the Financial Times article:

              http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/84906352-b3a5-11e4-9449-00144feab7de.html#axzz3RhxooyC0

              (P.S.– Miguelito, say “Hi” to Jim West for me.)

    2. Colin Lee says:

      Do the wheels cease rolling when you update iOS? Just kidding.

      While this sounds huge, I don’t think the average news reader knows how many companies have independently been working on driverless EVs. Apple, Google, Tesla, Nissan, and that’s only the first tier. Others like BMW and VW are probably close. Either way, this will make EVs that much more successful.

      Keep in mind that a single driverless EV can replace entire taxi companies. It doesn’t need anyone to charge it, park it, or even wash or repair it. You’ll see people getting maintenance contacts for vehicles automatically arriving for cleaning and repairs.

      1. Lensman says:

        I don’t see how a single driverless car can replace an entire taxi company. The driverless car can’t be in two places at once, and can only carry passengers to one place at a time.

  4. Josh says:

    I wonder what their manufacturing plan would look like? Designed in California, manufactured in China might not work for the iCar.

    I will be looking forward to seeing what the come up with, and if they will follow through. I am still waiting on my iTV.

  5. alohart says:

    As a retired Apple software engineer, I find it very unlikely that Apple would design an entire EV. Why not just buy Tesla instead? Designing an entire EV is so far afield from its core competencies.

    However, I can see Apple becoming involved with computer-controlled automotive systems including autonomous driving software. I wish Apple could overhaul iDrive in my BMW i3. The user interface is pretty unintuitive.

    1. Roy LeMeur says:

      Betting that Apple has tried to buy Tesla.

      Modern EVs ain’t s*** without tightly integrated hardware and software systems.

      Folks argue that a Tesla vehicle is a computer first and a car secondarily.

      That seems like a reasonable arguement.

      1. Tesla Fan says:

        well it is a computer on wheels

      2. Lensman says:

        Roy LeMeur said:

        “Folks argue that a Tesla vehicle is a computer first and a car secondarily.”

        That’s what the founders of Tesla Motors thought, based on their background in Silicon Valley.

        It was a very hard and painful lesson, a steep learning curve, for them to learn that no, making cars is heavy industry, whereas making computers is only light industry.

        Tesla didn’t overcome its early chaotic development and actually start producing its first car, the Roadster, until -after- the company hired some executives with experience in producing traditional cars — that is, gas guzzlers.

        Hopefully Apple won’t make the same mistake.

        1. kdawg says:

          Wow Lensman, for once I agree with you. Tesla thought it would be so easy to make cars and they learned the hard way. They even had to go to Detroit to pick up talent.

          Apple should do the same thing, otherwise their underestimation will cause them a much longer learning curve.

          1. Lensman says:

            kdawg said:

            “Wow Lensman, for once I agree with you.”

            Seriously?!?

            How odd, Kdawg, because I seldom disagree with -your- posts. I appreciate your contributions, both posts and the pictures you provide for InsideEVs’ articles.

        2. Mark Hovis says:

          So true. I worked in inspection automation in my past life, of which nearly 40% with automotive. I remember their struggles of getting the Model S out the door largely due to fit and finish of the fabricated sheet metal. They did overcome their problems relatively fast while they most definitely took portions of manufacturing automation for granted.

        3. cab says:

          Agreed. Car manufacturing is big stuff with long lead times, tons of suppliers to coordinate, shipping challenges, etc. As a software development manager I HATE it when “manufacuring” guys come in and assume software development and manufacturing are similar repetitious tasks. Most software development is more akin to the design phase of car manufacturing, not the production phase. Elon and folks likely came in with a design mindset and now live with the production challenges as part of daily life. He has said repeatedly they are production constrained. Basically, software and big hardware aren’t the same things at all, and a Tesla is definitely no more a “computer on wheels” than any other car these day.

      3. JakeY says:

        I’m sure Apple has offered to buy Tesla in the past, but with Elon at the reins (for at the very least until the Model 3 is having steady sales) that’s not going to happen.

    2. Robert says:

      Because I’d guess that Elon’s response was to drop his trousers and moon them…

  6. Roy LeMeur says:

    I don’t think most folks grasp the insane speed at which all these advances in EV technologies and investment are happening.

    Only seven years ago there was -one- small startup actually selling EVs in any quantity. Tesla.

    Two years from now it will be vans and trucks all over the place.

    I predict wholesale fleet changeovers by companies like UPS, FedEx, and even the USPS in the very near future.

    The formerly fluctuating tide of EVs has successfully changed into an unstoppable wave.

    The price of motor fuel is no longer a major determining factor in decisions as whether to adopt EVs or not.

    Range anxiety no longer a major factor preventing folks from adoption of EVs.

    Most folks even grasp the lingo now. They tend to know a watt from a watt-hour. Like knowing the difference between horsepower and how much fuel the tank holds.

    Pretty kewl stuff! 🙂

    1. Cosmacelf says:

      So who builds EV delivery vans? Any fully EV, and not just hybrids?

        1. Mint says:

          FYI, for companies using these vans as more than just a PR ploy, it very much is about cost of fuel and maintenance.

          Those startups you mentioned will have a big decline in orders with sustained low gas prices, and will basically have to go into hibernation until they get their hands on $150/kWh batteries.

        2. Epicurus says:

          Didn’t know about all these electric trucks. Thanks. They get little to no press.

          1. Lensman says:

            As previously reported by InsideEVs, Smith Electric Vehicles quietly suspended production in late 2013 — they ran out of money — and didn’t resume until January of this year.

            I dunno about any of the others, but perhaps it would be better to describe these companies as -offering- EV delivery trucks for sale. Whether or not they sell a significant number of them may be a different question.

            UPS, FedEX, and the U.S. Postal service have not yet gone into buying EV delivery vans in a big way; no more than a relatively handful of test programs. That rather strongly suggests to me that they don’t think EV delivery vehicles are yet cost-competitive with gas guzzlers. And if they don’t, then probably the niche for commercial EV delivery vans is very small indeed.

            Like most segments of the EV revolution, it looks like that is more or less on hold until the price of batteries comes down some more.

      1. Mutwin Kraus says:

        Deutsche Post / DHL has recently bought the company StreetScooter and will start using their EVs more and more: http://www.streetscooter.eu/

      2. Loboc says:

        I recently spotted a Fritos truck that was full EV. In Fort Worth Tx!

        I think it was a Smith. Had a huge graphic on the back advertising the electric drive advantages like zero emissions.

    2. Robert says:

      Hands up all those who think the cost of fuel will stay ‘low’ and drop in the future?
      NOT me…

      1. Sublime says:

        When EVs truly begin to see widespread adoption, gas prices will fall. Supply infrastructure is setup for different price points. When oil reaches certain levels, fraking makes economic sense. This latest price drop was due to a massive oversupply of oil on the market, because the pricing was so attractive for producers. This tells me the price is too low now, but was also too high before the crash. Add in a dynamic decrease in demand (when EVs become mainstream) and the price should go down, not up.

  7. azm-volt says:

    My wife said…. I wonder if it has windows….lol

    1. Josh says:

      Nice one 😉

      In all seriousness, if you have a Ford you car is already running on windows…think about how scary that is. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/windows-embedded-automotive-7.aspx

  8. Omar Sultan says:

    Seems like they would be better off buying or doing a JV with Tesla. Elon just did the deal with Google for SpaceX so we know he is not averse to the concept.

    Unless Apple has some secret supply of batteries coming from somewhere, this seems like a non-starter (forgive the pun).

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Something tells me Apple knows a little something about sourcing lithium batteries, and how they could acquire more/better ones, (=

      That being said, and as others have pointed out…this is a case of “is Apple really interested in, and why would Apple be interested in building cars?” Are they tired of having so much money around?

      They are currently the leader in a lot of great, fast moving, highly profitable segments…being a car company isn’t as bad as being an airline, but it isn’t that far off either.

      From a “bottom line” point of view, its a terrible idea for them to marry their existing business with automotive, unless there is some advanced thinking that tells Apple they could control “so much more” of the expanded future tech overall if they are they market leader in plug-in vehicles.

      For now, its just a cool story and an interesting “what if” thought bubble on the different scenarios.

      Regardless, it’s a fun time in history to be following EVs though.

  9. DanCar says:

    I doubt Apple is interested in the electric car business. They would be very interested in the driverless vehicle business.

    1. Simon says:

      If Apple builds a car, it must be a robotaxi. 3 disruptions in 1: electric car (with inductive charging), self-driving car, carsharing. A Mini-van is a good fit for that kind of car. Of course Google will do the same and Samsung and LG.

      1. Sublime says:

        I truly believe this is the market that Google, Apple, and maybe even Tesla are all after. GM is chasing market share in a business they’ve been in for over 100 years. I think even if they see this massive shift coming (people shifting to driverless taxis over owning multiple cars) they will convince themselves it’s not true. Anyone who has been exposed to corporate culture knows this is true.

        1. Loboc says:

          2016 ELR is rumored to have autonomous tech. We’ll find out on 3/3/2015.

          1. Sublime says:

            The cars themselves will be the easy part. The backend data center that manages them: passenger pickups, charging, maintenance, handling breakdowns, routing for traffic, etc is where the challenge and the high margins will be.

            1. Kosh says:

              IMHO the real problem to solve is peak/rush hour demand. Suddenly you need a LOT more vehicles than the rest of the day.

              Of course, if corporate america just embraced work from home and stopped making people commute to their cubicles…..

        2. Lensman says:

          Yes, it’s much more plausible that Apple’s intent is to develop hardware and software suites for driverless cars, than to believe they actually plan to mass produce EVs.

          And a development project of that sort, involving installation of sensors all over the car (thus affecting its shape and aerodynamics), might explain why they need what the Financial Times describes as “automotive designers and vehicle dynamics engineers”.

    2. Warp says:

      EVs would allow for safe self-recharging.

      Apple doesn’t just incrementally improve upon a sector that they’re entering with a new but similar product, they obliterate the concept of what the sector is with a massively disruptive product. It will be interesting to see a reuse of shopping mall parking lots for charging while people are at work in urban locations and the coincident massive loss of activity in urban parking garages, for example. It may also initially halve the number of cars per household required as well as end the need for a person to visit the supermarket to restock the larder or, combined with Amazon Meatspace CDNs in dying malls, the need for USPS for delivery of products in the last mile.

      1. Warp says:

        I’d call it the Apple Go/Fetch

  10. Scott Franco says:

    I second that, EVs are wayyyyy outside Apples core values.

    Come on that was funny, admit it.

  11. Lensman says:

    Well! I don’t think any EV related news has ever astonished me as much as this.

    Apple moved into the cellphone market and almost immediately took the lead. Will it do the same with EVs?

    Given Apple’s very deep pockets, they -could- actually wrest the leadership of the EV revolution from Tesla Motors… altho it likely would take them a few years to do it. And of course, unlike legacy auto makers, they don’t have any reason to sabotage the development of, or artificially limit the production of, any EVs they might produce to avoid competition with their own gas guzzlers — since they don’t make any.

    OTOH, Apple’s products are all products of light industry. Does Apple -really- want to get into the heavy industry of making cars? Deep pockets are no substitute for experience. I Apple -does- decide to move into the field of auto manufacturing, I predict they’ll have severe growing pains, just like Tesla did in its early years.

    1. Josh says:

      Tesla arguably is still having growing pains. Look at the delays on Model X.

      If Apple is having trouble getting a watch build on time, just wait until they try and build a car. I am pretty sure none of their products would survive crash testing.

      I really hope Apple develops some awesome auto associated technology. In fact, I can’t wait to try out CarPlay in the new Volt. I just can’t see Apple becoming a complete auto OEM, ala Tesla.

      1. Lensman says:

        Josh said:

        “Tesla arguably is still having growing pains. Look at the delays on Model X.”

        Even if the delays of the Model X are a sign of growing pains, that’s still nothing compare to the early, chaotic days of Tesla. Have you read the tell-all article “Tesla’s Wild Ride”?

        http://archive.fortune.com/2008/07/10/technology/copeland_tesla.fortune/index.htm

        But I’m not convinced all the delays on the Model X are involuntary on Tesla’s part. Some claim that Tesla’s most recent delay(s) of the “X” are by choice, due to Tesla wanting to sell as many of the existing Model S before it starts selling the “X”.

        If that’s true, it would be due to two factors:

        1. Tesla has already amortized much of the development cost of the Model S away. Therefore, they are making a higher per-unit profit margin now than they did the first year of Model S sales. If they start selling the “X”, their profit margin will narrow again.

        2. It appears that Tesla continues to be production constrained by battery supply. (Note recent talks with Samsung for a supplemental supply.) If Tesla’s ability to make cars is limited by a supply bottleneck in batteries, and I think it is, then it makes sense for them to continue making and selling only the cars which net them the highest profit margin.

        Again, I don’t know if this scenario is true or not. But I have a hard time believing that Tesla would have delayed the debut of the “X” for -this- long just because of difficulties over the “falcon wing” doors. Surely they could have moved to sliding minivan-style doors and ended the delay. They could have continued work on the “falcon wing” doors as an option for a future model year.

        1. sven says:

          It’s not just problems with the falcon-wing doors, but also problems with the motors overheating while towing and going into reduced power mode. Think about it. If the Model S can’t complete a single lap on a race track without its motor overheating and going into reduced power mode, how can the Model X motors tow a 3,500 lb trailer on an uphill grade for 3 hours straight? While Model S owners find it acceptable that they can’t use their car to do laps on a race track, Model X owners will find it unacceptable that they can’t tow their jet skis, snow mobiles, and boats without the motors overheating and going into reduced power mode.

          Lensman said: “Surely they could have moved to sliding minivan-style doors and ended the delay. They could have continued work on the ‘falcon wing’ doors as an option for a future model year.”

          I don’t think Elon’s ego would have allowed him to lose face by delaying or eliminating the Model X’s signature design feature.

          1. Lensman says:

            sven said:

            “It’s not just problems with the falcon-wing doors, but also problems with the motors overheating while towing and going into reduced power mode…

            …how can the Model X motors tow a 3,500 lb trailer on an uphill grade for 3 hours straight?…

            Model X owners will find it unacceptable that they can’t tow their jet skis, snow mobiles, and boats without the motors overheating and going into reduced power mode.”

            I don’t believe there will be any attempt to make the Model X able to tow a heavy trailer. I would bet money that Tesla will say something like “The Model X is not intended to tow a camper or other large trailer.”

            In fact, I seem to recall reading about some trouble with the Model S’s drivetrain when using that for towing. Note the Model X is a variant on the Model S. We have already seen the change in the drivetrain which Tesla planned for the Model X: It’s the dual motor all wheel drive, which has already been put into this year’s Model S as the “D” variant.

            As for towing a small trailer holding a jet ski, snowmobile, or motorcycle: I would guess the Model X would be able to handle that, if the driver is willing to accept a certain reduction in range. As for towing a boat trailer: It will be interesting to see what Tesla has to say about that. I would guess it will be able to tow a small speedboat at reduced highway speed, but certainly not a larger cabin cruiser.

            As a reminder, the Model X isn’t an SUV; it’s a CUV. The target market for this car isn’t those who want an SUV or pickup to tow a heavy trailer. It’s aimed at soccer moms who want room for more passengers in the back, and the “falcon wing” doors are supposed to make it easier to put in a child seat in the back, especially in a confined area like a shopping mall parking slot.

            sven continued:

            “I don’t think Elon’s ego would have allowed him to lose face by delaying or eliminating the Model X’s signature design feature.”

            If Elon’s ego was going to “suffer” from a delay, then it’s already done so quite a few times already, since every Tesla car has had -multiple- delays… the Model X being the worst. (But as I’ve said elsewhere, the last one or two delays may have been by choice rather than necessity.)

            Now, you do have a valid point about Elon’s ego and the “falcon wing” doors being the signature feature of the Model X. I recall Martin Eberhard complaining bitterly about Musk’s insistence that they reduce the height of the Roadster’s door sills, resulting in having to go back to the drawing board for much of the car design, and of course a significant delay in starting production of the car.

            1. sven says:

              Oops, I meant delay as in introducing the Model X without falcon-wing doors, but continue working on them as an option for a future model year.

    2. tftf says:

      Why would Apple need to make anything? Other than maybe some clay models in their labs 😉

      Apple doesn’t make anything today, the same outsourcing will most likely happen with cars:

      There’s Foxconn, Valmet, Magna Steyr and others to do the heavy lifting (Foxconn is already doing EVs in China)

      For the high-end, Apple execs already visited Magna.

      Apple knows how to make a global supply chain hum.

      1. Lensman says:

        Boeing discovered the problem with trying to make a large complex vehicle with many party, its Dreamliner, by outsourcing nearly everything and hoping everything would fit together properly. Guess what? They had -huge- problems getting everything to fit.

        Again: Making automobiles is heavy industry. Apple does light industry, not heavy. That’s not to say Apple can’t start up an auto manufacturing division, but if they do, they probably won’t be able to ramp up production much faster than Tesla has. Even with nearly unlimited capital, it takes -time- to develop a completely new car model, get it road-tested and safety tested, and to build and tune a new auto assembly plant.

        Altho I would love to see Apple move into the field, I think it’s much more likely that this is just a project to build one or a few experimental EV prototypes. Something much more akin to Google’s “driverless” car project, and not like Tesla motors.

        1. y vachon says:

          Apple is the king of planned obsolescence.
          I ll never buy one of their cars.

          1. Open-Mind says:

            Which of your Apple products had such short lives?

            I have a 7 year old Mac laptop that still works fine.

            And my original 2010 iPad still works fine.

            Similar experience with my iPhone.

            With Apple, I usually *want* to upgrade long before I *need* to upgrade.

            Maybe you got a lemon.

      2. Robb Stark says:

        Magna Steyr has a production capacity of 200k units per year and almost all of it is spoken for including BMW’s 100k units.

        Valmet has a capacity of 100k units per year if it works 24/7. 30k on a single shift. It made the Fisker Karma which new Fisker owner Wanxiang Group says has over 250 defects to be sorted out.

        iCar made in China and/or Taiwan. Has premium safe product written all over it.

        1. tftf says:

          Robb, we will not know until Apple releases the car, but they have good quality controls in place.

          Apple usually pre-finances equipment for its suppliers, Foxconn also didn’t have the capacity in place when Apple approached them.

          I think it’s fair to assume the same will happen with cars.

          Assuming Apple usually sells into a premium market segments, I doubt they would sell more than 1.5-2 million cars/year (that’s the current annual volume of Audi, BMW and Mercedes).

    3. Tim says:

      Actually, Apple never took over the cellphone (or smartphone) market. At least not in unit sales.

      The idea, however, is interesting. For a $150B company to grow revenue in any meaningful way, it has to get into bigger priced items. Of course their margins will get smaller but the ASP will grow a lot.

      1. Lensman says:

        Well, Apple never developed a near-monopoly of the smart phone market. But it certainly did wrest the market leadership from Blackberry, very quickly, and in fact drove Blackberry nearly out of business. I haven’t followed that market, but as I understand it, it’s only within the past few years that Android smartphones have started outselling the iPhone. The iPhone was the #1 selling smart phone for some years, was it not? And the release of every new iPhone continues to get huge media attention.

  12. Speculawyer says:

    I’m not convinced they are getting into the car game. I just don’t think they would do that. Maybe they’ll try to sell their OS to carmakers and thus need to build some prototypes . . . but I kinda doubt they’ll start building cars at Apple.

    1. tftf says:

      Technically, they likely won’t build anything. They will most likely outsource production (see my comment above) as they did in recent years for their iDevices and Macs.

      Apple has arguably one of the best supply and logistics chain worldwide in place.

  13. Kosh says:

    Actually, an EV would fit perfect in the Apple lineup…..it needs to be recharged EVERY night.

    Couldn’t resist.

  14. Open-Mind says:

    As a fan of both Apple and Tesla, I would prefer these companies NOT be fighting each other. Plus it make no sense. What DOES make sense to me is a partnership.

    Apple is not going to design a better EV than Tesla, just as Tesla is not going to design a better iPad than Apple.

    But since Tesla’s dash is basically a 17″ tablet, I think Apple could offer a lot by helping to design that GUI and perhaps integrate it into Apple’s ecosystem. The Google/Android and Microsoft/Windows folks will hate that of course, but nothing else about this makes any sense to me.

  15. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

    Who designed the van? Daft Punk?

  16. DonH says:

    Maybe a green proprietary vehicle not for public consumption with a huge battery pack to further their Apple maps program that will allow them to get into all areas cleanly and quietly. Maybe?

  17. Draighven says:

    I would not consider this car ever. Unless of course when you charged it up it called the energy “Apple Juice”

    1. Mutwin Kraus says:

      If you mean the car in the picture that is not what the Apple EV would look like.

      1. Draighven says:

        I know that’s not the iVan or whatever they want to call it, I don’t buy apple products period. Overpriced falsely limited garbage in my opinion. Dumbed down computing for the masses. I wouldn’t expect any car they designed to be any better.

  18. DNAinaGoodWay says:

    If Apple, or any other new entrant to the auto market, follows Tesla’s marketing lead, it can only help to say goodbye to the scourge of dealerships.

    1. V. Bowman says:

      +1

      1. DNAinaGoodWay says:

        And they already have Apple Stores!

        1. Kosh says:

          …and it explains that big open area in the front of the stores!

  19. Anon says:

    An electric Apple mini-RV could make sense…

    Nerds could live in it, and use VR goggles to make it look like a Tudor Mansion on the inside.

  20. sven says:

    I wonder if Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is also shorting Tesla stock.

  21. And every new iCar will be thinner than the previous model…

  22. mr. M says:

    The iCar/Titan can not be sold at twice the Price of a Mercedes, even when the interface/HMI is twice as good. Therefore Apple will not produce a car.

    1. I’m not sure how or why you make a comparison to Mercedes… they clearly don’t lead in the EV market, and their CEO was recently bragging about how little expense they used to bring the Tesla powered Mercedes B-Class ED to market (compared to the billion dollar BMW i3).

      I see Apple first getting into the autonomous taxi / delivery van market, something every city in the world uses. The industry will very quickly adopt something that saves them money, and no drivers, no gasoline / diesel and near zero maintenance will win the day.

      In cities looking to limit pollution, these vehicles will have similar power of regulation to promote them. This is a decidedly different situation than California Air Resource Board – Zero Emission Vehicle (CARB-ZEV) rules that have many manufacturers, like Toyota and Honda, , doing the absolute minimum EV or future hydrogen car production in order to qualify to sell millions of gasoline cars.

      Apple, like Tesla, Nissan, Renault, BMW and maybe even GM in the future, will want to sell the MOST EV’s possible, and taxis and urban vans are a gigantic market of eager purchasers looking to lower cost, with regulations requiring quiet zero emissions to operate in cities.

      It’s worth noting that there is no mention of “bullshit” hydrogen, nor will any company not receiving HUGE government handouts touch hydrogen cars with a ten foot pole.

  23. ModernMarvelFan says:

    IF Apple build an EV, it will looks good from outside and sells for a premium price.

    But the car will tend to overheat with short battery life and slow motor. It will also occasionally miss certain functional app icon in its OS due to crash but before drivers realizes, the car will reboot itself to fix the issue before driver notice the problem. But some passenger will wonder why some of the icons disappear and re appear later.

    Also, Apple car will require its owner version of anything. Want a tire? Needs special Apple tires. Want a charging EVSE? It will be a special port. Need to service it? Well, take it to expensive Apple store…

  24. AbeFluenceZE says:

    I ve got FLUENCE ZE two years….impresive car. Look what was PAMU project 4 years ago….from Renault and you can see the amazing ev car, with unpluged charge and autodrive…….only laws stop that project. Renault is years advanced from any other european car constructor.
    http://www.mascoche.net/actualidad-seguridad-vial/pamu-conduccion-autonoma-renault

  25. Jeff Garrett says:

    Apple will design, engineer, build and retail many types of vehicles, all under their own brand. Apple is know for having full control over the hardware and software and integrating the hardware and software in a way that guarantees a near flawless user experience in it’s computing products and they will do the same thing with the vehicles that they market. And I will be among the first in line to buy several of their vehicles. I can hardly wait. When all is said and done, and Apple has reached yet another level of success in this niche, all of the naysayers will finally have to shut up. I have spoken. Jeff Garrett, Boise, Idaho. June 15, 2015. (Copyright Jeff Garrett 2015. All rights reserved.)