Apple and Tesla Motors have been in a poaching war for some time, with each stealing employees from the other. This is hardly surprising, as jobs at both companies are highly coveted in Silicon Valley. Also there are similar types of jobs at Tesla and Apple, but as it turns out, Apple isn’t just hiring software specialists.
Apparently Apple is also stealing some of Tesla’s automotive engineers or technicians. Now why on earth would Apple do that if it isn’t working on a car?
Apple building a car? Oh, please…
This week Business Insider reported that Apple was working on some kind of Tesla-killer product. It really seemed far-fetched to me that Apple would build a car, and I’m certainly not the only one in the blogosphere. However, the buzz in Silicon Valley is that Apple really is building a car—and stealing Tesla’s car experts to do it.
Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer worked his contacts to test the veracity of the rumor. Amazingly, he found his own evidence that Apple may really be working on a car.
More sources suggest an Apple car
According to Chaffin, his sources told him that Apple has specifically been stealing “the kind of people from Tesla that is most suited to cars.” Chaffin had been a doubter of the rumor about an iCar—until his sources gave him this tidbit. He also points out that a search of LinkedIn reveals more former Tesla employees who are now at Apple than former Apple employees who are now at Tesla.
He added that another source told him that in C-suites across Silicon Valley, executives pretty much believe Apple must be working on a car. Of course this is nothing but hearsay, but as Chaffin notes, executives in the tech community tend to know what’s going on throughout Silicon Valley—even if it’s happening at a company other than their own.
Chaffin said he asked another source to place a percentage on the probability that Apple is working on a car. That source reportedly told him 80%, which further seems to support the rumor about an Apple Car.
Apple expands into new product categories
It would certainly seem that a car would just be outside Apple’s area of expertise, but he notes that so were mobile phones when the company released the iPhone. Just as mobile phones became more technical when the original iPhone came out, cars are now becoming more technical.
Some have onboard computers and even touchscreens. And all it takes is a glimpse inside a Tesla Model S to see the resemblance between Apple’s iPad and the touchscreen inside the car. Don’t forget also that Apple is working on CarPlay, an operating system designed for cars that’s being rolled out to multiple brands of vehicles. So why not have its own car to run CarPlay?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is sounding like Apple may indeed be working on a car. Of course keep in mind that just because Apple may be working on a car, it doesn’t mean that car will ever see the light of day. The company frequently shelves products without ever bringing them to market for various reasons.
And even if the Apple car becomes a reality, it could be many years before we ever see it. Just look at how long some people have been waiting for an Apple TV (an actual smart TV set, not just the Apple TV set-top box).