After speculation that Apple is working on a fully electronic car under the codename “Titan,” automobile industry professionals are wondering what effect Apple could have on the automobile market.
Currently an untapped market by Apple, it is likely that (with their resources and technology) we might see an Apple car in the future. Given their size and seemingly unlimited spending money, there was concern that Apple could indeed buy out and/or dominate the electric car industry.
Many believe that the “Apple Car” could have a significant impact on Tesla, the world’s largest and most profitable electric car company. According to Apple Insider, Tesla raked-in $1.1 billion in sales in the first quarter. Elon Musk, the innovative entrepreneur and company’s founder, doesn’t seem worried. Musk recently stated “I actually hope Apple gets into the car business, that would be great.”
As far as competition between Apple and Tesla goes, Musk is not at all concerned. Although Apple claimed to have “poached” Tesla employees, Musk stated that Tesla had converted five times the number of Apple employees to his company. He further believes that the more electric car companies in the market, the better. After all, Musk started his company to help make the push from gas-powered automobiles to electric cars, with the added ambition of bringing climate change to light.
The thing is, it wouldn’t be beyond Apple’s reach to try their hand at producing an electric car. They’ve got plenty of engineers, resources, software, devices, and energy. But most importantly, they have a ton of money. “Apple is sitting on nearly $180 billion of cash, an amount materially in excess of that of the entire global auto industry… combined” revealed Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst and Tesla supporter.
If Apple produces an electric car, we could see a number of effects on the automobile industry as a whole. For one, it wouldn’t be beyond Apple’s means to completely change the market. Just in 2007, the iPhone revolutionized the wireless market and made smartphones accessible for everyone. Due to the sheer number of loyal Apple fans and the company’s established history, there is a chance that an Apple-made car could end up dominating the market.
While Apple could be in the works to produce their own vehicle, some believe that this “Titan” project is more closely related to Apple CarPlay. It could also be related to an enhanced Apple Maps project with 3D street imagery. This theory would explain why Apple vans with surveying equipment, similar to Google’s, have been seen in cities around the U.S.