Apple Car: The Big Questions Answered

Apple is investing big in an Apple Car as we speak 4 photos
Photo: Apple
iPhone 12 bill of materials price increase over iPhone 11LG and Magna are creating a JV that could build the Apple CarApple Car concept
The tech world is slowly but surely expanding in the automotive market, and while several companies have already confirmed such plans, including Xiaomi and Huawei, others are still trying to keep everything secret for obvious reasons.
One of them is Apple, a tech giant who’s become famous for its FBI-like secrecy and the efforts it puts into preventing any tidbit of information from reaching the press.

We’ve therefore known for a while that Apple is working on a car, but the Cupertino-based iPhone maker has so far remained completely tight-lipped on everything. And what’s more, it reportedly insists on all of its partners to do the same thing just because the Apple Car is considered a top priority product for its long-term strategy.

Earlier this year, for example, it’s been rumored Apple discussed the Apple Car plans with Hyundai, the South Korean company which at one point was in pole-position to take care of the manufacturing process of this mysterious product. But someone at Hyundai inadvertently spilled the beans on the talks, and Apple’s big honchos have reportedly been so upset with the whole thing that they abruptly ended all the talks with the carmaker.

So yes, the Apple Car is as mysterious as it gets, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we didn’t get our hands on some essential tidbits. And today, we’re trying to answer the top questions about this highly anticipated Apple project.

Why is Apple building a car?

First of all, why is Apple, a company that has already conquered the tech world, looking into building a car?

While there are several reasons why a tech firm would expand into the automotive industry, for Apple it all comes down to the opportunity to increase its profit margin and therefore make more money. The iPhone is already a money-making machine, and it’s not a secret Apple’s making quite a lot of money with every unit sold, but with a car, the profit margin would be significantly higher.

Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world with a market cap that exceeds $2 trillion, and an Apple Car is seen as a product that could help easily reach $3 trillion in just a few years.

As the car world is becoming more focused on technology, it’s easy for a giant like Apple to explore this industry, especially because it has always invested in premium approaches that allowed it to sell its products at rather high prices. So Apple’s tech know-how mixed with its growing appetite for profit is something that fits the tech revolution in the automotive market like a glove.

iPhone 12 bill of materials price increase over iPhone 11
Photo: Counterpoint Research

Will the Apple Car be a conventional model?

No. The upcoming Apple Car will be an EV, and there’s a good chance it’ll support at least level 3 self-driving, though the autonomous capabilities are still in the works as we speak.

This is the reason many see the Apple Car as a fully-featured Tesla rival, especially because both companies have invested aggressively in the technology that could make its way on future cars.

Rumor has it the Apple Car will land in the form of a sedan that will use all kinds of new-generation tech, and while Apple has already been granted a series of very ambitious projects, you can be sure not all of them would eventually enter the mass production.

But on the other hand, there’s no doubt the Apple Car will be the peak of the tech revolution in the car industry, especially as this is exactly how the Cupertino-based firm wants its EV to be set apart from the rest of the crowd.

Apple Car concept
Photo: Concept Creator channel on YouTube

Who will build it?

Apple has been trying for many months already to find someone to build the Apple Car, but at this point, the company has come down to two different options. So it’ll be either Foxconn, the long-time Apple partner that’s also the number one iPhone manufacturer, or a joint venture between LG and Magna.

LG has recently abandoned the mobile phone business, promising to focus more on other sectors, including EV manufacturing, so a partnership with Magna for the production of the Apple Car would guarantee a successful future in this regard.

Apple has previously talked about a potential partnership with a series of traditional carmakers, including Hyundai, Nissan, and possibly others, but according to people familiar with the matter, the company has repeatedly hit a roadblock every time. And the reason is a simple as it could be: no carmaker wanted to become just a standard contract manufacturer for Apple.

LG and Magna are creating a JV that could build the Apple Car
Photo: LG

When will the Apple Car launch?

Given it’s a work in progress, the debut of the Apple Car is subject to overnight changes, but at this point, it looks like Apple wants to come up with a prototype in the next two or three years, while the production model could be announced in 2023 or 2024 at the earliest.

Previously, it’s been rumored that a testing version of the Apple Car was projected to see the daylight in 2022, though this was only the case if Apple reached an agreement with a traditional carmaker.

Given the whole thing is advancing slowly, the Apple Car prototype could now be revealed in 2023, though as we said, everything can change overnight if something goes wrong.

Analysts believe Apple would confirm the Apple Car later this year, but this is rather unlikely given the company typically doesn’t comment on new products until the official announcement.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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