BMW has denied a report in the German car magazine that it is developing or building a car for Apple, but not responded to a claim suggesting that Apple may be developing an ‘operating system’ for its i3 electric car.

Auto Motor Sport claimed that Apple was in discussion with BMW about the possibility of developing an electric car based on the BMW i3, following numerous reports that the Cupertino company plans to develop an Apple Car. However, Reuters reported shortly afterwards that BMW had denied this.

German carmaker BMW said on Thursday its talks with technology giant Apple did not involve developing or building a car, denying a German magazine report.

BMW did confirm that it was holding “regular talks” with Apple on “topics like connected vehicles,” offering no comment on the idea that Apple may be working on an ‘operating system’ for the car … 

The Auto Motor Sport report said that the OS would be deeply integrated into the i3.

This would allow not only iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, laptop and Mac computers to communicate and exchange data, but it also could be integrated with the car’s fuel consumption and movement data.

If true, this would suggest that Apple’s ambitions in respect of existing car manufacturers extend beyond CarPlay. Tim Cook said during a recent Telegraph interview that the Apple Watch could be used to replace a car keyfob. While this could be achieved by relatively simple cooperation with manufacturers around Bluetooth or NFC locks, it could also be interpreted as a step along a path to deeper integration of Apple technology into future cars.

9to5Mac‘s Jeremy Horwitz recently speculated that extending the CarPlay concept to revamping the entire center stack could make sense, though manufacturers may be reluctant to cede that much control to an external company.

Bloomberg last month suggested that Apple plans to launch its own car by 2020. True or not, the combined number and calibre of automotive hires made by Apple suggests that the company has serious ambitions in the car industry, whether that takes the form of an Apple Car or closer involvement with existing manufacturers.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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