Apple Car Overview Updated September 1, 2022

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200 'Apple Car' stories

February 2015 - December 2022

Apple Car concept image

Despite years of speculation about an Apple Car, we still have little hard information about Apple’s plans.

When did the rumors begin?

The first reports date back to early 2015, when a camera-festooned car was shown to be leased to Apple. While some believed this was for Apple Maps, others suggested it looked more like a test-bed for a self-driving car. Shortly afterwards, Apple was found to be poaching Tesla engineers., and we uncovered a significant number of senior automotive hires.

What is Apple up to?

This is the $64,000 question. We know for sure that Apple is very actively exploring some kind of move into the automotive sector, but it’s still not 100% clear that the company plans to go as far as launching a car, which consumers will be able to buy.

Apple has said only that the area is of interest to the company.

We’ve seen three main possibilities suggested:

Some kind of car technology, but not a car

The first suggestion is that Apple wants to create some kind of car tech, but not go as far as actually making a car. Some believe Apple’s primary interest is in the in-car experience as the world transitions to self-driving cars – a kind of CarPlay on steroids, if you will. Others believe there is enough evidence that Apple is working on self-driving technology, but that it will license this to other companies, rather than make its own car.

Ride-sharing cars

The second possibility is that Apple plans to make cars, but not for retail sale. One obvious market for autonomous cars is ride sharing, so it’s possible that Apple plans to make a self-driving car for a ride-sharing service, but we wouldn’t be able to buy one.

A car for retail sale

The third option, of course, is a full-on car that consumers can lease or buy outright. It’s this possibility which has understandably lead to the greatest amount of debate and excitement.

Who would make it?

Assuming Apple does plan to actually make a car, it would partner with a manufacturing company to actually produce the vehicles. Here there are two possible routes the company could take.

Partner with an established brand

Apple has been reported to have discussed a possible partnership with a wide range of established carmakers. These include Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, BMW, and Canoo.

The Hyundai/Kia idea was once presented as if it were almost a done deal, before later being dismissed – though there remains some minor partnership talk.

The big stumbling block here appears to be branding. Existing car brands would be reluctant to be relegated to the role of a contract manufacturer, where Apple makes all the decisions and the car has only Apple branding.

Use a contract manufacturer

The other, perhaps more likely, possibility is that Apple commissions a contract manufacturer to build the cars, just as it uses companies like Foxconn and Pegatron to make iPhones and other Apple products.

Foxconn is known to be working on electric car production, but likely working more at the lower end of the market. The company did buy a US EV factory, but almost certainly not for Apple cars. Magna is one of the best-known contract manufacturers able to build models for premium brands, and so appears a likely contender.

What have existing car makers said?

Unsurprisingly, almost all are claiming not to be worried. For example, BMW’s CFO says he “sleeps peacefully” while VW says the company isn’t afraid. Toyota thinks Apple doesn’t understand that you have to be ready to provide 40 years of after-sales support for a car, where Apple tends to discontinue support five to seven years after it ceases to sell a particular model.

In reality, of course, any premium brand car maker has to be sweating right now. Tesla is the only car company to openly admit that Apple will pose extremely tough competition.

When would an Apple Car be launched?

This too is one of the Big Questions. In 2015, some suggested an Apple Car might go on sale as early as 2020, which of course didn’t happen. A variety of other dates have been suggested, from 2024 through 2026 to 2028 or beyond.

With no deal apparently yet struck, and no leaks of anything specific, it is certainly clear that Apple is nowhere close to a launch anytime soon.

Concept image: CarWow

Apple Car Stories December 6

Over the last couple of years, we’ve heard different estimates of when Apple Car might finally make it to market which have ranged from 2024 to 2028. Now the latest report predicts a debut in 2026 with a custom Apple Silicon chip, no self-driving, and a price tag under $100,000.

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Apple Car Stories September 29

Apple is continuing to slowly expand its autonomous vehicle testing program in California. According to new data published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple now has 15 new drivers registered to its crew. The number of self-driving vehicles, however, remains the same at 69 vehicles.

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Apple Car Stories September 28

When will Apple unveil its car? That’s the question customers have been asking for years. With executives leaving Project Titan and Apple having to rearrange the team over and over, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the company has set a date to rearrange its car team yet again.

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Apple Car Stories September 3

Apple Car is, at least, a few years away from being introduced. While Project Titan is surrounded by controversies, top executives leaving, and complete turnovers on what the Apple Car will ultimately be, a survey indicated that US customers are more interested in buying a car from the Cupertino company rather than buying a new Ford or Tesla.

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Apple Car Stories August 22

A former Apple engineer has pled guilty to stealing trade secrets from the company. In a San Jose federal court, Xiaolang Zhang admitted to the theft of Apple’s Project Titan trade secrets and could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine…

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Apple Car Stories July 27

Apple is pushing ahead with its efforts to expand the team working on Apple Car. A new report from Bloomberg today indicates that Apple has hired Luigi Taraborrelli, a 20-year veteran of the Italian car company Lamborghini. This marks a major addition to the Project Titan team as Apple aims to release a car later this decade.

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Apple Car Stories July 25

The Apple Car – or Project Titan – is full of comings and goings. While previous reports show the company is struggling to find a direction in the automobile industry, a report highlights how Apple is pushing to enter this business in the past 20 years.

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Apple Car Stories July 11

Apple’s self-driving car development efforts, codenamed Project Titan, have been well-documented over the years. Project Titan has gone through numerous leadership changes, shifts in strategy, and more.

A new report from The Information today goes in-depth on Apple Car, including details on the car’s design, Jony Ive’s involvement, Craig Federighi’s skepticism, and the so-called “jogger incident.”

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Apple Car Stories June 22

Apple’s car ambitions range from replacing your infotainment system with the iPhone to someday selling self-driving electric vehicles. Not every auto exec is convinced Apple will ever cross the finish line to shipping its own car, however. Meanwhile, more automakers are continuing to adopt Apple CarPlay even as the company teases its next grand vision for taking over your car software.

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Apple Car Stories May 25

Apple has lost yet another member of the Project Titan team working on its ambitious plans for a fully self-driving electric car. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Christopher (CJ) Moore has departed Apple after less than a year on the job. Prior to his short stint at Apple, Moore served as a director of Tesla’s Autopilot team.

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Apple Car Stories May 5

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Apple has hired Desi Ujkashevic, a former Ford executive, to join the efforts of the Apple Car project. Since then, questions continue to arise on whether or not the ‘Apple Car’ will become a real thing. 

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Apple Car Stories March 30

Apple is continuing to slowly expand its autonomous vehicle testing program in California. According to new data published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple now has 10 new drivers registered to its crew. The number of self-driving vehicles, however, remains the same at 69 vehicles.

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Apple Car Stories March 18

Some kind of new Porsche Apple partnership may be in the cards after the two companies held meetings to discuss “possible joint projects.”

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume revealed the meetings when announcing the company’s annual results …

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Apple Car Stories March 15

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another tweet. This time, Kuo says the Apple Car project team has been dissolved for “some time,” and it needs to have a reorganization within the next three to six months to achieve the goal of mass production by 2025.

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Apple Car Stories March 3

Rumors are spreading that key manufacturers in Apple’s supply chain, Foxconn and Luxshare, are top candidates to produce the Apple Car. The rumors come after both Apple suppliers recently entered the future vehicle market. 

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Apple Car Stories February 22

Development of an Apple Car autopilot chip appears to be a step closer to reality as Apple has reportedly placed an order with a Korean company.

To be clear, the order is not for the final chip – which would almost certainly be fabricated by Apple’s A-series and M-series chipmaker TSMC – but for modules that will eventually be incorporated into the chip …

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Apple Car Stories February 15

Luxshare has become a key supplier of Apple as of late. The Chinese company, which assembles AirPods and most recently iPhones, announced today its joint venture with The Chery Group. Chery is an electric vehicle maker based in China.

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Apple Car Stories February 9

Tesla’s leading design chief Franz von Holzhausen took to a podcast interview this week to air grievances about Apple’s apparent lack of design innovation. In an interview on the Spike Car Radio podcast, Holzhausen said that there’s “nothing to look forward to” in terms of new design from Apple.

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Apple Car Stories February 1

We are already used to seeing patents from Apple showing new technologies that the company has been experimenting with in its devices, but this one is a bit different. The US Patent and Trademark Office this week granted Apple a patent for a car sunroof – which certainly wasn’t made for an iPhone or iPad.

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Apple Car Stories January 26

Apple is continuing to slowly expand its autonomous vehicle testing program in California. According to new data published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple now has 89 drivers registered to its crew. The number of self-driving vehicles, however, remains the same at 69 vehicles.

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Apple Car Stories January 23

In the latest edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that Apple has lost another manager from its Project Titan self-driving car team. This is only the latest departure in what has been a revolving door environment for Apple.

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Apple Car Stories January 12

A new supply chain report says that some Korean suppliers have created Apple Car task forces following visits by the Cupertino company to discuss manufacturing plans.

Much of the focus appears to be on batteries for the car, with Apple reported to be working on custom-designed ones rather than using any existing power packs…

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Apple Car Stories December 27, 2021

Apple Car antitrust concerns raised before it even exists

Apple Car antitrust concerns are already being voiced, despite the fact that it doesn’t yet exist, and may never exist. Indeed, the potential for antitrust action could be greater if Apple doesn’t ever sell its own car …

Apple Car Stories December 8, 2021

The Apple Car is still far from being announced, but rumors about it keep circulating on the web. This time, Bloomberg reports that Apple has lost another three engineers from its car project, who recently left the company to join startups.

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