The rumor of an Apple Car has been one of the most engrossing in recent months, but recent leaks suggest that it is a very real possibility. According to sources close to Apple, the company is currently experimenting with a highly secretive automotive project. This apparently has the codename of “Titan”, and leaks have even suggested that this purported electric car is well beyond the concept stage.

Project Titan: Apple's Top-Secret Car Project

Apple Car in production

Reports have indicated that serious work is already underway on the Titan at Apple’s Cupertino campus. Sources closer to Apple have suggested that the company has been receiving shipments related to electric car manufacturing in recent weeks. Apple Insider has already confirmed that Apple has a large presence at this location, and that a variety of automotive-related renovations have been made to this facility. These include a reported auto work area and repair garage.

The news about a possible Apple electric car is only the latest chapter in this particular saga. Apple has had a pretty close relationship with Tesla, the electric car manufacturing market-leader, in recent months. It was rendered in 2014 that Apple was in discussions with Tesla over a possible buyout, and although both parties have emphatically denied this, it is clear that talks took place between the hierarchies of the two companies.

Since then, the notion of an Apple car, and the idea that Apple will buy out Tesla, both intensified. And these latest morsels of information will only expand this process, regardless of the fact that some analysts have dismissed the idea that Apple will produce an electric car.

Apple faces electric car challenge

Certainly there are very obvious arguments against Apple producing such a vehicle from scratch. Firstly, the task of manufacturing a roadworthy motor vehicle is a massive undertaking. There can be significant technical issues for companies that have decades of experience of this, so for Apple to go into this completely raw would honestly be a massive challenge for the corporation.

Not only is this a huge challenge in itself, but the electric car market is still relatively raw and embryonic, and establishing a successful product within it, while challenging gasoline-based vehicles, will be no picnic even for a behemoth such as Apple. And the production facilities for a range of motor vehicles is well beyond the scope of what Apple has even in its already massive supply chain.

Additionally, the motor vehicle market is one of the most competitive on the planet, not only commercially but also critically. Whereas Apple has been able to rely upon its reputation in consumer electronics, this would be absolutely worthless, or at least bordering on it, within the motor trade. And Apple Car would then be subjected to the unforgiving prospect of the motoring media, and there is little doubt that they would savage any vehicle from this wet-behind-the-ears upstart that they perceived to be of dubious quality.

Moving into such a completely new field also doesn’t really seem to fit in with the traditional Apple ethos. What Apple has done particularly well in recent years is execute products which are well within its capabilities to the nth degree. Apple in fact prides itself on ensuring that products do not reach the marketplace unless they are of the requisite quality and slickness.

This has led to the Apple portfolio actually being pretty conservative in recent years. For many years, Apple fans have been hankering after a television set from the corporation, something which it promised some time ago. But Apple has not delivered this, despite the boasts of its CEO, Tim Cook, that an Apple TV will hugely improve upon the functionality of existing television sets. We probably will see an Apple TV at some point, but the corporation wants to ensure that it is absolutely right before it is released. One can only speculate how long it would require to produce an acceptable electric car.

Apple Car Patent

Apple electric battery rumors

Considering these factors, many analysts have suggested that Apple has different plans for its electric car development. Some form of partnership with Tesla has been deemed particularly attractive to the corporation, as the electric battery industry could be a valuable niche for Apple. Other market watches have suggested that Apple wants to establish itself as a major software player in motor vehicles, with the high-quality screen in Tesla vehicles being perfect for its products.

Nonetheless, despite these arguments it seems clear from the recent rumors that Apple is at least contemplating and working on the logistics of its own electric car. The sources in question which are close to Apple have spoken to numerous media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Bloomberg.

What has been noted previously is that Apple has hired numerous personnel from Tesla, which would be an incredibly strange move if the consumer electronics giant had no interest in some form of electric car product. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that Apple is about to release an electric car, or even that it is significantly working on one. But putting this together with the rumors released by sources close to the company, and apparent workings at a location in Sunnydale, and an Apple Car does seem a possibility in the foreseeable future.

But how would an Apple Car be received by the notoriously fastidious auto market? What can be said for certain is that although Apple doesn’t have the same cachet in this market as consumer electronics, the Apple badge still carries a lot credence with consumers. As soon as Apple confirmed the existence of an electric vehicle, there is no doubt whatsoever that fans of the corporation would begin to seriously consider purchasing one.

The growing electric car niche

The electric car marketplace is likely to be a growing niche in the coming years, as traditional gas-guzzling vehicles begin to be phased out. Apple has always tried to play on its green credentials, and in this respect the development of an electric car would be a natural move for the corporation. Additionally, Apple has been working on introducing new product niches ever since its share price fell significantly in the early months of 2014.

These worries may be long gone, but the latest memories coming out of California suggest that we may see an Apple car before the decade is out.