Apple Car may not be launched before 2027: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on December 28, 2020

Stiff competition in EV market, Apple’s high quality standards may delay rollout, says expert

The launch of an electric autonomous vehicle by Apple is not likely to happen before 2025-2027, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities, as quoted by reports.

Following media reports about Apple stepping up its efforts to build an autonomous electric vehicle, Kuo has said in a note written to investors, as obtained by MacRumors and AppleInsider, that it will not be a surprise if the launch is postponed to 2028.

A recent Reuters report about Apple’s renewed focus on building an electric, autonomous vehicle pegged the launch of the Apple Car in 2024. Kuo, in his note, put forth various reasons for the delay.

Also read: iPhone 12 was world’s best-selling 5G smartphone within 2 weeks of launch: Counterpoint

“Our latest survey indicates that the current development schedule of Apple Car is not clear and, if the development starts this year and everything goes well, it will be launched in 2025–2027 at the earliest. Due to changes in the EV/self-driving market and Apple's high quality standards, we would not be surprised if Apple Car's launch schedule is postponed to 2028 or later,” he wrote, as quoted by a MacRumors report.

“The market has high expectations for Apple Car. Still, we remind investors that although Apple has a variety of competitive advantages, it is not always successful in new business,” he added.

Kuo emphasised the competition in the EV/self-driving car market while also pointing to low demand for Apple’s smart speakers.

“The competition in the EV/self-driving car market is fiercer than that for smart speakers, so we think it's perilous to jump to the conclusion that Apple Car will succeed,” he wrote.

Focus on big data, AI

According to Kuo, Apple will be required to focus on big data and artificial intelligence more than the hardware for Apple Car to succeed. One of the “biggest concerns” about Apple Car as stated by the analyst is the company’s ability to overcome the “lagging gap” and moving ahead of the big data and deep learning/AI accumulated by the current self-driving car brands.

Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in a tweet, had questioned the nature of the technology that Apple is looking to for these vehicles following the media report. “Strange, if true. - Tesla already uses iron-phosphate for medium-range cars made in our Shanghai factory. - A monocell is electrochemically impossible, as max voltage is ~100X too low. Maybe they meant cells bonded together, like our structural battery pack?” Musk wrote.

Also read: Elon Musk says he’d tried to sell Tesla to Apple

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, investment bank Morgan Stanley had also shared insights on the news regarding Apple’s autonomous car project.

"There are some very big bets being made across the capital markets on EVs and batteries," the note stated, as quoted by the report.

"We believe (the) story on Apple and Project Titan are a reminder of the potential scope of competition for capital and brains (and eventually market share) as the ecosystem evolves," it added.

Published on December 28, 2020

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