"RUMOURS have been flying around lately that Apple is looking to enter the motoring industry with an all-electric car, under the codename “Project Titan”.
Now, according to Bloomberg, new sources close to the matter have confirmed the company is indeed making a car, and it will be on the road by 2020.
Apple has supposedly been working on the car project for a year now, and the six-year road map between now and 2020 is on par with most automakers’ development periods for a car.
The vehicle itself will most likely go toe to toe with Tesla, the current benchmark manufacturer for electric vehicles. Bloomberg says Apple launched “an aggressive campaign to poach” workers from EV battery maker A123 Systems last year, which adds further weight to the reports.
The car is also rumoured to be autonomous, which would stack it up against some other big car manufacturers that are investing huge sums of money in driverless vehicles.
The actual design of Apple’s car is mostly a mystery, although the Wall Street Journal reports it may end up looking like a mini-van. That seems an odd move.
Meanwhile, current car bosses are warning Apple that the profit margins in the auto industry are razor thin compared to that of Apple’s existing products.
“I don’t know their strategy and I don’t know what they’re doing (but) I would be very surprised if that proved to be right,” Mercedes-Benz chairman Deiter Zetsche told News Corp Australia.
“I mean why (would Apple) with this kind of margin go into this business?
“I think investors would hate it because they don’t like conglomerates, they want focused management on what they understand and perhaps some neighbouring fields, not somewhere different (such as cars).
“The fact that you can listen to iTunes in a car doesn’t make it something which is in itself consistent (with developing an entire car). And this is full of respect for Apple,” he said.
Similarly, the comparisons to Tesla have led people to compare their profit margins with Apple’s.
“[Tesla’s] not profitable whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean [Apple] shouldn’t pursue them,” Andrew Zamfotis, an analyst at EVA Dimensions, told The New York Post.
“Nothing’s going to be profitable on day one.”
Time will only tell if Microsoft “Wheels” becomes a reality and whether it becomes useless every 5 years once the format becomes progressively worse.