Apple is working on a secret car project, and while Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously expressed no concern over Apple becoming a major player in the car business, Ford's CEO weighed in with growing concern about the impact of Apple's so called "Project Titan" on the industry:
Our working assumption is that they are [working on a car], And that provides us with the right motivation to make sure we stay very focused not only on the product but overall the experience that the customer has interacting with the product and the services that we have.
This quote from the BBC continues to grow what is now an acute awareness of an inevitable shift in the auto industry's biggest players, and Apple's aggressive behavior in the sector has proven impossible for industry leaders to deny. Apple's Project Titan car is on an accelerated track of development; documents found by the Guardian last August show Apple was to test its cars behind 2,100 acres of fenced-off space once used as a naval base near San Francisco, and rumored release date of as early as 2019. And last week, it was revealed Apple has hired ex-Tesla vice president Chris Porrit as project lead amongst other Tesla engineers.
Elon Musk contradicts a growing concern from auto industry leaders over Apple's car, and has before declared Apple "a Tesla graveyard"; in spite of Apple's hires of former Tesla employees. The Guardian ran an article last October that detailed Musk's take on Apple:
Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? No, seriously it's good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can't just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: 'Build me a car.' But for Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough.
One thing is clear: Apple is already a big player in the next-gen auto industry even before debuting a car. Traditional cars are for the first time a threatened market. So who is right here? As Tesla and its CEO continue to strut their stuff, the hype is still pretty much in their court. Meanwhile, Ford is scrambling for answers--and Apple's rumors struck the match.
Time will certainly tell, and you can look for all of the best updates here at Odometer.