Is the Apple Car Still Coming?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

is the apple car still coming

It’s been coming for years and is rumored to turn the automotive world upside down. But the all-electric Apple Car has failed to manifest. We’ve covered the many hardships endured by the code-named Project Titan, which supposedly employed 5,000 people and was rumored to have roped in Volkswagen. But that was in 2018, years after the vehicle’s development cycle had begun and allegedly changed from a pod-like autonomous car built by Magna International to a corporate shuttle based on the VW Transporter.

The story of Apple’s EV has changed so many times over the years that it’s getting hard to believe that we will ever see it. But the latest from the corporate press suggests that it’s still coming.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives recently told CNBC (h/t CarBuzz) that he believes an automobile will be Apple’s next big product after the Vision Pro is an upcoming mixed reality headset.

“We think, 2026. It’s a matter of when, not if,” Ives said, adding that the market is underestimating Apple.

However, the last we heard about the project was when an industry source told The Korea Times that Apple was working to build up its Korean supply chain in 202 1. There were also rumors that the brand was in talks with Toyota and Hyundai Motor Group to help it commence production on an automobile sometime in 2024.

Subsequent rumors have posited that the project had been delayed due to self-driving technologies not having fully matured. We also know that Project Titan underwent numerous staffing changes and endured a couple of rounds of layoffs between 2014 and 2020. But Apple rarely talks about the program, with senior executives often failing to acknowledge its existence.

Apple’s secrecy about the project may simply be the brand wanting to steer the marketing or a sign that Project Titan has been struggling. Tim Cook has previously stated that the company’s focusing on autonomous systems. But stopped short of confirming anything about a prospective vehicle.

All we know for certain is that Apple once had a sizable development team working on an all-electric vehicle. Some have claimed it was supposed to be a test bed for the technology the brand hopes to sell to legacy manufacturers while others remain steadfast that the end goal is to deliver an Apple-branded automobile. The company has also filed for a slew of automotive patents since the early 2000s and most of these pertain to vehicle-to-vehicle communications or autonomous driving.

Despite nearly a decade of news on the project, there hasn’t been a lot of concrete information to cling to. The program has been canceled and revived more times than anyone can remember and Apple never seems willing to provide any facts. Perhaps, Wedbush Securities has an inside source.

There are other explanations for Ives’ comments, however. He may have simply needed something to say when asked about Apple. The guy has made a living offering stock tips and he’s not going to be able to pump Apple and be invited back if his response is “your guess is as good as mine.”

If you’ve never watched Ives, his favorite thing to do of late is to promote tech stocks and then say that the brands he likes are “playing chess” while other entities are still “playing checkers.”

Our advice is to take any news about Apple’s claimed car with a healthy dose of skepticism. While the California Department of Motor Vehicles has confirmed that the company operates a fleet of autonomous test vehicles, they always turn out to be preexisting models wearing Apple’s sensing hardware. It seems likely that the company is focusing on AV technology, rather than the fundamentals of automotive manufacturing. But we likely won’t get more information out of Apple for another couple of years if Ives’ timeline is to be believed.

[Image: withGod/Shutterstock]

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4 of 32 comments
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
  • SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time? and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
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