Skip to main content

Apple Car

See All Stories
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.

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. 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

Tim Cook says he has never spoken to Elon Musk, but has great admiration for Tesla and their lead in electric vehicles

In a new interview with Kara Swisher on the Sway podcast, Apple CEO Tim Cook addresses the upcoming lawsuit with Epic Games, the controversy over iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency policies, and more.

In regard to Apple’s interest in self-driving cars and autonomous driving, Swisher asks Cook what he thinks of Elon Musk. Cook said that he has great admiration for Tesla, even though he has never spoken to Elon Musk himself.

Expand Expanding Close

Apple Car concept images show bizarre mix of mashups

Apple Car concept images

We’ve seen plenty of Apple Car concept images over the years, but a leasing comparison site has put together a somewhat bizarre mix of mashups between existing cars and assorted Apple products.

We commissioned these renders of potential Apple EV concepts, mashing up some popular car models with familiar Apple products! Can you picture any of these racing down the motorway… ?

Expand Expanding Close

Apple Glasses, folding iPhone, Apple Car: What rumored product are you most excited for? [Poll]

Over the next four years, Apple has some really compelling new products that could make it to market. When it comes to iPhone, Apple will likely realize its goal to create a single slab of glass by eliminating the notch and could also debut its first foldable. In the AR/VR space, we should see Apple’s first headset and possibly Apple Glasses. And wading into all-new territory, Apple Car could launch in that window along with other new innovations in the health industry and more. What Apple products are you most excited to see launch?

Expand Expanding Close

Apple Car: Nissan talks failed over branding issues; VW says it isn’t worried

Apple Car Nissan talks failed

When it comes to possible manufacturing partners for the Apple Car, Nissan was one of the companies suggested in recent reports. This initially seemed a realistic prospect, as the company’s CEO strongly hinted that Nissan would be open to a deal – but a new report says that talks came to nothing.

Indeed, it says that discussions were brief and didn’t even make it to a senior level …

Expand Expanding Close

Apple doubled California self-driving test miles in 2020, disengagement rate improves

Each year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles publishes detailed information from the companies testing self-driving cars in the state. This year’s data has just been made public, and it reveals that Apple completed 18,805 miles of self-driving car testing in California during 2020 — more than double what was reported in 2019.

Expand Expanding Close

Apple Car production: Shares of Japanese car companies rise on reports of talks

Apple Car production rumors

Two reports on claimed Apple Car production plans have emerged today. One suggests progress on the rumored $3.6B Hyundai deal to make up to 100,000 cars per year at a Kia plant in Georgia, while the other indicates that other manufacturers are still in the picture.

Apple is said to be in talks with at least six carmakers, with Japanese manufacturers seeing their share prices rise in response …

Expand Expanding Close

Apple rumored to sign $3.6 billion deal with Kia Motors for Apple Car partnership

According to local newspaper DongA, Apple is set to announce a major contract with Kia Motors, worth about $3.6 billion as the company ramps up its efforts to build an electric car. According to the papers, the news could be officially announced as soon as February 17.

Apple is apparently looking to produce about 100,000 cars a year, starting in 2024. A previous report had suggested that Apple was looking to sign a deal with Hyundai by March.

Expand Expanding Close

Possible Apple Car specs: 160 mph top speed, 300-mile range, 80% charge in 18 minutes – Kuo

Apple Car specs suggested

A new report from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo potentially provides a lot of information about the Apple Car specs. He reiterates recent reports that Hyundai will be the key manufacturing partner for the Apple Car, but goes on to say that the vehicle will use the company’s electric car chassis known as E-GMP.

Hyundai announced the chassis a couple of months ago, with some impressive specs. Range is shown as over 300 miles on a full charge, and fast-charging gets it up to 80% capacity within 18 minutes. You can top up the range by up to 60 miles with just a five-minute fast-charge.

Hyundai’s cited top speed and acceleration figures are also impressive, but those need to be viewed in context …

Expand Expanding Close

Second report says that Apple Car production would be in the US; Hyundai nervous

A previous report suggested that Apple Car production would be in the US, and that has been echoed in a new one today, citing Hyundai sources.

The same report says that Hyundai is nervous about agreeing to make a car for Apple, and has “tentatively decided” against it – though it does have an alternative proposal it thinks would work better …

Expand Expanding Close

Concept imagines what CarPlay would look like ‘if Apple made the Tesla Model 3’ [Video]

Even though it looks like we’re still more than several years out until Apple Car might reach the world, excitement is building as we learn more details. Now a graphic designer has created a sharp Apple Car concept that imagines what it would look like with a large 15-inch center console screen like Tesla uses with its Model 3 and Model Y.

Expand Expanding Close