Just a couple of days ago, Tesla founder Elon Musk called the rumored Apple car a “missed opportunity.” Musk believes that Apple would become a serious competitor to Tesla in the electric vehicle market. But the Cupertino company started working on the Project Titan a little too late, and its first car may not be available until 2020. Now an analyst says the Apple car may not be the right move.
Apple car would validate what Tesla is doing
The iPhone sales have stagnated, and many see the automobile as the next frontier for Apple. Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz said in an interview with CNBC’s Power Lunch that Apple has the pockets and the auto sector represents a huge opportunity. However, the iPhone maker lacks the “experience to enter that market.” The global car market is huge enough to accommodate more than one innovative player.
Uerkwitz told CNBC that if Apple enters the electric vehicle market, it will validate Tesla, which has applied a “technology mindset to an industrial sector.” The analyst does not expect a positive rate of return “for many, many years.” There are supply chain issues and you have to get scale to be profitable in such a fiercely competitive market.
Apple hires satellite navigation expert
Apple has been working on an electric vehicle, reportedly with self-driving capabilities, for more than a year. The tech giant has hired hundreds of automobile engineers, battery technology experts, and software developers from companies like Tesla, Panasonic, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and others. Reuters reported last week that Apple has been talking to several charging station firms about their underlying technology. It has also acquired large real-estate properties in the Silicon Valley for the car project.
A report by Bloomberg on Friday noted that Apple has hired a software engineer who developed the satellite navigation systems for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Sinisa Durekovic has about 25 years of experience in working with satellite navigation systems. He joined Apple last October. Bloomberg added that Durekovic holds a patent that uses map data to prevent car collisions. Mapping and navigation systems are considered an important part of an autonomous vehicle.