Following a flurry of recent rumors alleging Apple continues to work on an automobile of its own, a credible and reliable analyst has now stepped forward to warn investors that the so-called Apple Car is in early stages of development and unlikely to arrive before, at least, 2025.
According to the revered TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 2025-2027 timeframe assumes everything goes as planned. In Kuo’s most recent note to clients, which was obtained by MacRumors, 9to5Mac and AppleInsider, the reliable analyst writes that he wouldn’t be surprised if the launch timeframe is pushed out even farther to 2028 or later. That’s a major departure from Kuo’s earlier forecast calling for an Apple Car launch between 2023 and 2025.
“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,” reads Kuo’s note to clients and investors. In it, he singled out a few factors which could delay that planned launch, including supply issues, a missing specification for the vehicle, uncertainties surrounding Apple’s competitiveness and expertise in the EV/self-driving car market and more.
Specifically, Kuo thinks it’s “perilous to jump to the conclusion” that Apple Car will succeed because competition in the EV/self-driving car market is “fiercer than that for smart speakers”, in an obvious nod at poor market reception for Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker.
Kuo also warned overzealous investors against buying shares in companies thought to be linked to the Apple Car project, calling such reasoning a “knee-jerk reaction that could be short-lived”. He was basically reacting to an earlier story claiming Taiwanese manufacturers were scurrying to supply parts to Apple for a September 2021 launch of an Apple Car.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Apple Car production may kick off in 2024, with the product apparently featuring breakthrough battery technology and Apple-designed chips manufactured by TSMC. The report is based on quotes from unnamed, high-ranked executives. Following the story, Volkswagen CEO said publicly he has been looking forward to competition from the likes of Apple, provided the Cupertino company does in fact launch an Apple Car.
During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2020
Bloomberg added that the iPhone maker’s AI boss, John Giannandrea, is now leading the project, which may indicate that Apple is confident in its progress so far. But considering that Giannandrea is in charge of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Apple, and given previous rumors that so-called Project Titan has refocused from car hardware to autonomous driving software, it’s also possible that Apple is looking to sell off or license that software.