No, of course there are no photos of what the Apple Car will look like. But currently, an electric iCar is taking shape in the minds of millions of people who have read the reports about collaborations and investments of the iPhone manufacturer in the Hyundai subsidiary Kia. General Motors and the newly formed car giant Stellantis (= Peugeot + Fiat Chrysler) are also involved in the rumored plans – probably in order to provide the capacity to mass-produce the Apple Car.
Why does Apple do this? "Project Titan" seemed to have fallen asleep for a while, then Tim Cook turned down takeover talks with Tesla in 2017, blitzed even German automakers, and now has apparently found the right partner in South Korea, which not only provides a platform for electric cars but also has some partnerships for self-driving car technologies. Now that electronics giants like Sony and Apple supplier Foxconn have started to build electric cars, the motto of the world's most valuable corporation is: If a trillion-dollar market is about to be disrupted, it can't be done without us.
It's not about the best tech
What will the Apple Car have ahead of other electric cars? From today's perspective, it's hard to imagine it can offer better batteries than Tesla, and when it comes to autonomous driving, it will be hard to beat Waymo/Google. But counter question: Is the iPhone the most technically mature smartphone?? No – better cameras, sharper displays and stronger batteries can be found in many Android phones, and yet there are now more than a billion active iPhones in the world.
BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini – cars from strong brands have always been status symbols. And even though more and more young people today are questioning whether they will even have their own car – there will still be billions of people in the world in ten or twenty years who will want or need their own car. Because they live in the country and there are no public transports, because they have to do business trips all the time, or because they simply belong to the upper class and don't want to sit on the subway with the masses. Even if only one percent of current iPhone owners buy an Apple Car – that's ten million cars.
The iPhone of the car industry
But there is already Tesla, they are already building the iPhone of the car industry, many think. Yes sure, Tesla has built one of the strongest brands in the world and 2020 about 500.000 electric cars sold. But the premium car market, which is being turned around, leaves plenty of room for new brands to emerge. Nio, Lucid Motors, Polestar – there are numerous new brands trying their hand in the field. But if they dare to do it, why shouldn't the most valuable company in the world dare to do it too??
The timing of the Apple Car rumors is also remarkable. 2024, 2025 it should be so far. Only in four years? Apple is pretty late to the party, isn't it?? In the next four years, Tesla will be able to grab quite a bit of market share. True, but also: the average driver keeps his car for four to six years. The share of electric cars is still in the single-digit percentage range. Now you can already imagine how many people are starting to decide today that their first e-car will be an Apple Car in four or five years' time.
If you look at the concepts of Hyundai, the Kia parent, in terms of electric cars and e-charging stations, you could very well imagine an Apple logo:
There's also a lot to nag about Tesla cars, if you look hard enough. The gap dimensions are the object of ridicule for the entire German car industry, the touchscreen operation does not always make sense, and the design is not to everyone's taste. But a Tesla is one thing. It's a status symbol of the digital elite, looked after and drivers sitting inside with obvious pride, communicating to everyone else on the road: I'm driving into the future.