Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), for long, has been a pioneer in the field of consumer electronics. Now, it plans to soon establish its dominance in the transportation space as well!
According to people in the know, the iPhone maker’s automotive development efforts called Project Titan has been making big strides since it first began in 2014.
Apple’s plans to build an electric-vehicle for the mass market isn’t public yet but it has progressed enough to become a reality within 2024, two people in the know revealed. They also mentioned that central to this goal, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s strategy includes a new battery design that could potentially reduce the cost of batteries drastically and in turn increase the vehicle’s range.
That being said, while this grandiose plan of the iPhone maker surely sounds all rosy, there lie several challenges in its execution.
Apple iCar: Challenges Ahead
Even though Apple has deep pockets and access to all the resources they could want, building a self-driving car poses several supply chain challenges. For instance, Elon Musk’s Tesla took nearly 10 years before it finally started making profits sustainably.
A person who worked on Project Titan said that it is still very much unclear who will undertake the responsibility of assembling an Apple-branded vehicle.
He also added that there might be a chance Apple decides to reduce the scope of their efforts to an autonomous driving system which can simply be integrated within a car manufactured by a traditional automaker.
As of now, according to the sources, Apple has decided to get external partners onboard for different elements of the system such as lidar sensors which help self-driving cars to render a three-dimensional view of the road.
When it comes to the battery of Apple car, the iPhone maker plans to use a unique design known as “monocell” that has the ability to frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating several pouches and modules that normally holds battery materials. But then again, if Apple has any plans to turn a profit on them, it needs to place orders in volumes which could be a big challenge given they are a newcomer.
Trip Miller who is the managing partner at Apple investor firm Gullane Capital Partners, in a statement, expressed similar concerns. He said it might be a tad bit difficult for Apple to start producing large volumes of cars right out of the gate.
He further said that, if Apple has some advanced operating system or battery technology in-store, it will be better if they could utilize it in a partnership with an existing manufacturer via licensing as traditional auto companies have a very complex manufacturing network that you simply can’t replicate overnight.
Now it remains to be seen what the future holds for a possible Apple iCar. Whether Apple take the bold risk to go out there on their own and produce their own cars or simply partner up with an existing auto-maker is something only time will tell. We will keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned.