The future of Apple’s rumored electric car might be hanging in the balance, according to a new report from AppleInsiderCiting a source familiar with the company’s auto-related plans, Apple design guru Jony Ive is reportedly none too pleased with the progress Apple’s car team – rumored to be in the hundreds, if not more – has made thus far. As a result, sources have indicated that Apple recently initiated a hiring freeze on all auto-related hires.

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AI notes:

The change was precipitated by a post-holiday progress review conducted by Apple design chief Jony Ive, according to a previously reliable source with knowledge of the team’s activities. Ive is said to have “expressed his displeasure” with the group’s headway.

What is not yet known is whether or not Ive’s displeasure with the team stems from an automotive design perspective or perhaps on account of the team’s inability to come up with any features that would differentiate the rumored vehicle from, say, what Tesla currently has out on the market.

Interestingly, this news comes hot on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report alleging that progress on Apple’s electric car hasn’t been moving along as fast as some Apple executives might have initially envisioned.

“The team has encountered some problems, according to people familiar with the matter, in laying out clear goals for the project,” the Journal noted over the weekend. “Apple has urged the team to push ahead with ambitious deadlines even though some on the team felt that those targets weren’t attainable, these people said.”

Compounding matters is the fact that the head of Apple’s car initiative, longtime iPod and iPhone engineer Steve Zadesky, recently told Apple of his plans to leave the company due to “personal reasons.”

All in all, it seems that Apple’s plan to roll out an electric car by 2019 or 2020 now seems far too ambitious for a company with no previous automotive experience whatsoever.

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