A few days ago, there were rumors that BMW was developing a car for Apple. However, a BMW spokesman told Reuters that the company’s talks with the iPhone maker did not involve developing or building a car. Now a report from Auto Motor Sport (via 9to5Mac) suggests that the Cupertino company might be developing an operating system for BMW’s i3 electric car.
Apple’s OS to be deeply integrated into i3
The German automaker has confirmed that it was holding “regular talks” with the iPhone maker “on topics like connected vehicles.” The Auto Motor Sport claims that the Apple OS will be deeply integrated into i3 and offer functionality above and beyond CarPlay. It will do much more than letting Apple devices communicate and exchange data with BMW cars. The new Apple OS “could also be integrated with the car’s fuel consumption and movement data.”
The Cupertino-based tech giant recently collaborated with the German automaker on the BMW i Remote app for Apple Watch, which allows users to monitor battery level, estimated charge time remaining, and vehicle range on the wearable device. Last month, Tim Cook said in an interview with The Telegraph that Apple Watch could replace your car keys.
Apple board recently visited BMW headquarters
Some experts believe that auto manufacturers may not give away so much control to a third-party. Apple is reportedly developing its own electric car under the Project Titan, and plans to introduce it by 2020. Apple’s aggressive hiring of automobile talent suggests that the company is serious about its automobile plans.
A separate report from German newspaper Süddeutsche claims that all of BMW’s board members visited Cupertino last year, and Apple board visited Munich earlier this year. You do not need the entire board for small tie-ups or integration. If Süddeutsche’s report is true, the talks were much more than about Apple Watch and CarPlay. The newspaper adds that the two companies would rework the i3 into a high-performance luxury electric car that can be mass produced.
Apple shares rose 1.20% to $127.41 at 12:37 PM EDT on Monday.