Apple’s Project Titan hits a major speed bump

“All is not necessarily well in Cupertino these days,” Andrew Tonner writes for The Motley Fool. “According to reports, Project Titan appears to have hit its first major speed bump, which could threaten Apple’s ambitious timetable for its next truly disruptive product.”

“According to a report from AppleInsider citing sources familiar with the matter, Apple has placed its Project Titan team under a hiring freeze after members of Apple’s executive team grew concerned over the project’s direction and progress,” Tonner writes. “The alarming decision stemmed from a progress review conducted by Apple design chief Sir Jony Ive upon returning from the holiday season in which the design guru reportedly ‘expressed his displeasure’ with the team’s lack of tangible progress.”

“Though not definitively related, this move also probably coincides with the recent departure of Steve Zadesky, the longtime Apple veteran tasked to lead Project Titan whose resignation for ‘personal reasons’ surfaced late last week,” Tonner writes. “It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A bend in the road is not the end of the road — unless you fail to make the turn.

Success is 99 percent failure. — Soichiro Honda

SEE ALSO:
Apple Car: Jony Ive unhappy with ‘Project Titan’ progress, Apple implements hiring freeze, source says – January 25, 2016
Daimler CEO says met with Apple in California for ‘concrete talks’ – January 24, 2016
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ honcho to leave the company; ‘Huge loss for Apple’ says Tony Fadell – January 23, 2016
Apple veteran Steve Zadesky overseeing electric-car project leaving company – January 22, 2016
Apple is building their largest startup ever – October 1, 2015
Why it’s time for an Apple Car – October 1, 2015
The deeper reason for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Volkswagen emissions scandal spotlights need for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Morgan Stanley: Apple Car, if true, ‘one of the most important moments in transportation’ – September 22, 2015
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: Apple Car ‘is going to be a gigantic money pit’ – September 22, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Apple meets California DMV officials to discuss ‘autonomous vehicle’ – September 18, 2015
Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car, Project Titan further along than many suspect – August 14, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ could reshape the auto world – February 22, 2015

19 Comments

    1. Yes, I worked in automotive on a dealer level and for 2 manufacturers for 20 years. It’s several orders of magnitude more complex than what any computer/software manufacturer has done. Technology, organization, regulatory etc etc etc, the list goes on.

      I don’t expect many here to believe me, well that’s ok.

      And don’t even mention Tesla, they are just a small boutique auto manufacturer in the overall scheme of things. They do have the ability to be a sub-contractor on some things, no doubt about that.

      1. The only thing that I am going to argue about is your casual use of “several orders of magnitude.” One order of magnitude is a factor of 10. Several orders of magnitude is a factor of 1000. I do not think that it is 1000 times more difficult for Apple to design a car and perform technology development in a few key areas. Remember, Apple is not going to build the car.

        1. no problem, I get what you mean.

          There is so much more than just building the car, that is what Tesla is learning. If they are as smart as they think, I cannot imagine that they didn’t research the rest. Most car companies that survive more than a couple of years can build good cars, but they fail spectacularly in the rest of the process.

    2. Insurance on multiple levels.
      Repair and warranty and upgrade services.
      Parts available for repair for 7+ years.
      Regulatory issues an order of magnitude greater than phones.
      Service infrastructure.
      Customer fickleness over esthetics & the multiple models and options to capture those customers.

      The magnitude of these issues for cars is far heavier than with iPhones.

  1. Of course this guy leaving could be the sole reason for this story rather than some form of confirmation. I prefer to listen to information that is discovered before an event that in itself encourages speculation for its own sake, be it real or unfounded.

  2. After attending an auto show this week, we need Apple to create a cool, innovative car. The current car companies are out of ideas. They think adding more buttons to the dashboard & steering wheel is innovative. Apple please make something great.

        1. Yeah, these dudes always think they are at the heart of Apple and privy to everything that goes on inside Apple headquarters. I wouldn’t put any credence on what an outsider says about what’s going on at Apple. When working on a project sometimes things go well and then not so well. Isn’t this phantom AppleCar project to be completed years from now? Who knows what things will happen during that time.

          Apple has plenty of monetary resources to hire a proper design team. Both Ford and GM have market caps of about $46 billion apiece, so definitely Apple has deeper pockets than both of those companies combined. Apple could start recruiting experienced people from car companies, so it’s not an impossible task. The whole idea of Apple going into the auto business seems pretty risky with little rewards.

  3. Heard this before …

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

    Guess what, Apple Inc. didn’t just walk in, they stormed in and now own the Phone market, with 92% plus of the revenue, taken from the top end.

  4. I wonder if Zadesky leaving was simply a reflection of his inability to manage the disparate people they brought in from non-Apple companies, people who have strong egos and agendas of their own that haven’t merged smoothly into the Apple culture.

    This is a key reason for Apple not buying larger companies. They all work in a non-Apple mindset environment where cutting costs and moving product are their drivers, not quality of the product. It’s not difficult to imagine managing such a group would be challenging.

  5. Didn’t we already get this identical news here last week?

    Again, this may be no BFD at all. Every project requires VERIFICATION of the success of its goals and fails along the way, requiring adjustment. It is part of the project process. Without failure, there is no learning. Heard that before?

  6. Apple is currently opening a faculty here in Ottawa, literally right next door to QNX’S HQ. Headed up by former QNX executive Sébastian Marineau-Mes, and staffed by many other ex-QNX employees, this is an ongoing development that runs counter to the TITAN is doomed/frozen stories being spread around. Don’t skate to where the puck is, you’ll be out of play very quickly!

    Cheers from the Great White North,

    dmz

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