Rumors of Apple’s electric car project have been floating around for close to a decade now. Some of the reports have been more believable than others, but the sheer amount of leaked information has made it clear that something big is going on behind closed doors. The latest report falls on the less reliable side, but still deserves a mention. According to Digitimes (via 9to5Mac), Apple is preparing to start mass production of the Apple Car in 2024. The company is reportedly in talks with a number of potential partners in Asia, including Toyota and LG.
Sources say that Apple visited SK Group and LG Electronics to discuss the project in July. Those same sources believe that Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation could be next on Apple’s list. Toyota is just the latest carmaker to appear in rumors swirling around the Apple Car. The company has previously been linked to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Hyundai.
When will Apple Car production begin?
Over the years, a number of sources have provided glimpses of the project throughout its tumultuous timeline. In early 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Titan — which is the codename for Apple’s project — would resemble a minivan instead of a car.
Nearly two years later, Bloomberg reported that Apple had shifted to work on autonomous systems that would power its self-driving car rather than the car itself. In the years since, patent registrations and a lawsuit have erased all doubt that the Apple Car is just a rumor. Sooner or later, Apple is going to launch an automobile (or unceremoniously cancel the project).
One of the more compelling narratives surrounding the launch of the Apple Car is whether or not Tim Cook will still be around when it does finally go on sale. A recent Bloomberg report claimed that Cook would be around to oversee one more major new product line before retiring. That product will in all likelihood be Apple’s mixed-reality glasses and/or the AR headset. That report suggested that Cook is looking to retire at some point between 2025 and 2028. If Apple really can get mass production of the Apple Car up and running by 2024, Cook might be able to announce it on stage after all.
What’s up next for Apple?
We’re not sold on Apple putting its car into production before 2024. Digitimes has never been the most reliable source. Plus, recent reports suggest that there has been a great deal of turnover in the car division recently. In the meantime, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, and a number of other new devices at an event later this month.