Over the course of the past 15 years, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has gone from a dying company to one which has the largest market capital in the world. This has mostly been because of Steve Jobs’ rehiring in the late 1990s, and his introduction of the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Since Tim Cook has taken over as the CEO of Apple, some may say that not much new has been introduced to the market. Sure, they have continued to extend the reach of the iPhone, Apple TV has caught on quite nicely, and the Apple Watch was finally unveiled, but what about a big hit?
Over the past few years, many people have predicted that we would eventually see an Apple car come about. While many simply wrote it off as just a hopeful rumor, others pointed to signs that the company may actually be working on something really special. Back in February, The Wall Street Journal gave life to the rumor as they reported on “Project Titan”, a project that looked to challenge Tesla in electric cars.
Now The Wall Street Journal has taken this report a few steps further, stating that Apple has internally designated their endeavors to create an electric vehicle as a “committed project”. WSJ also reports that Apple is setting a target to ship the first Apple car sometime in 2019 (approximately 4 years from now). While according to the report, the first Apple iCar (no official name actually given) won’t be fully autonomous, but the company does appear to be continuing work on developing a fully self driving vehicle, perhaps for future versions.
Over the years, Apple has hired several key names in automobile technology, engineering, and manufacturing, including Doug Betts, a long time industry expert, as well as Paul Furgale, who is an autonomous vehicle researcher from Switzerland, among others.
Just a few day ago, it was reported that Apple had been discussing their plans for a self-driving car with DMV personnel in California, so this latest tidbit of news really comes as no surprise.
While many people question the potential that an Apple iCar may have, as well as Apple’s ability to grab a portion of that market, others believe the move could help create an additional and significant means of revenue for the company. There are so many customers who will buy only Apple products, based on name alone, so without a doubt Apple shouldn’t have much trouble selling a plethora of iCars based on the mere fact that it’s an “Apple Car” alone.
It should be interesting to see how quickly more details emerge, as the company will surely need to do plenty of road tests prior to the release of an actual vehicle. What do you think the new Apple iCar should include? Would you purchase one, if priced comparably to the average sedan on the market today?