Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the iPhone maker is positioning itself to introduce an automobile in three to five years. If true, this would represent an about-face for the company. In recent years, most have assumed Apple was no longer planning on building a so-called “iCar,” but instead was focused on improving its CarPlay technology. The reputable analyst’s comments were first published by MacRumors.

According to Kuo, Apple’s desire to build a car has mostly grown out of its desire to control both the hardware and software experience. He explains:

The reasons for (the car) are as follows: (1) Potentially huge replacement demands are emerging in the auto sector because it is being redefined by new technologies. The case is the same as the smartphone sector 10 years ago; (2) Apple’s leading technology advantages (e.g. AR) would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers’ products; (3) Apple’s service will grow significantly by entering the huge car finance market via Apple Car, and (4) Apple can do a better integration of hardware, software, and service than current competitors in the consumer electronics sector and potential competitors in the auto sector.

Besides commenting about the Apple Car, the TF International Securities analyst also said we should expect Apple to introduce its long-rumored AR glasses in 2020. In recent years, Cupertino has focused on AR software with its ARKit. Kuo doesn’t offer any new information about the hardware, except that it should arrive in two years.

Any talk about a possible Apple Car is significant, of course,  and coming from Kuo, perhaps even more so.

These comments, coupled with the recent announcement that former Apple executive Doug Field was returning to the company after a stint at Tesla, do suggest the car is back on track. The devil, of course, will be in the details.

Would you sign up to buy the world’s first Apple Car? How much would you be willing to spend?

Apple Car concept image courtesy of Top Speed