Apple Car rumor roundup: Project Titan and what it means

“Project Purple was the iPhone. Gizmo was the Apple Watch. And Titan?” Rene Ritchie writes for iMore. “Well, that’s believed to encompass Apple’s automotive ambitions — aka, the car.”

“Just like iPhone started off as a tablet, became a phone, and then expanded to a tablet again, Apple Car will likely take a twisting, turning path to market. That’s if it ever comes to market. Plenty of Apple projects, including the television set, never have,” Ritchie writes. “The car feels different, though. For one thing, due to regulatory issues, it’s forced to be more public than most of Apple’s special projects. Second, the logistical revolution is real and Apple is uniquely positioned to be one of the major players in that space. Because autonomous cars won’t just be about the destination, they’ll be about the differentiated experience of the journey.”

Ritchie writes, “Apple supply-chain exfiltrator extraordinaire, Kuo Ming-Chi of TF International Securities, has sent out a new note to investors [on August 15, 2018] and, as usual, it’s making the rounds.”

Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
Apple Car as per Richard Scarry
We expect that Apple Car, which will likely be launched in 2023–2025, will be the next star product. The reasons for this are as follows: (1) Potentially huge replacement demands are emerging in the auto sector because it is being redefined by new technologies. The case is the same as the smartphone sector 10 years ago; (2) Apple’s leading technology advantages (e.g. AR) would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers’ products; (3) Apple’s service will grow significantly by entering the huge car finance market via Apple Car, and (4) Apple can do a better integration of hardware, software, and service than current competitors in the consumer electronics sector and potential competitors in the auto sector. — Kuo Ming-Chi, TF International Securities

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve got some vehicles that are getting up there. Can we milk them until the “Apple Car” appears? Probably not. One more round of traditional vehicle purchases and then, hopefully…

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple to launch revolutionary Apple Car within 5-7 years – August 15, 2018
Doug Field, former Tesla engineering chief, returns to Apple – August 10, 2018
Apple’s autonomous vehicle fleet grows to 62 vehicles in California – May 29, 2018


    1. this looks kinda familiar… kinda prescient

      anyone recall that ancient apple tv ad – back in the days of scully – where some sort of flying car with a top rotor was sketched out on a table napkin or something?

  1. So Apple receives from at least one major car manufacturer cars whose interior and communication and control electronics is stripped. Apple installs/equips the interior with all Apple devices and sells it to whom, the end users or to the car company? What would this partnership be called? What would the car be called?

  2. Funny. Why does Apple use Toyota’s Lexus for testing their automotive software, while Toyota doesn’t offer Apple’s CarPlay? In fact, I bought a new Honda, largely because Toyota didn’t offer CarPlay, but Honda does. I find that the Honda is as good, if not better than the Toyota, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both are good cars. But it’s funny that Apple selected the Toyota, while Toyota doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay.

    Oh, when I checked out the Toyota, the salesman told me that Bill Gates, who was a big Toyota stockholder, wouldn’t allow Toyota to offer Apple’s CarPlay. It’s probably a BS story, but that’s what the Toyota salesman told me.

    1. Toyota has started to put Apple CarPlay in some 2019 models. Toyota reminds me of Apple. They don’t jump into something until everything is up to their very high standards. That is why Toyota is waiting to fully jump into EVs. The battery tech isn’t good enough yet.

      You’re fooling yourself if you think Honda is as good or better than Toyota. Toyota pays much more attention to practical details in their cars. I’ll give you one example. Ground clearance. The Honda Civic has a ground clearance of 4.9 inches. It is so low that owners complain about scraping in many parking lots. The Toyota Corolla is 6.9 inches. Why is the Civic so low? Honda is chasing fuel economy numbers and a more fun driving feel instead of building a more practical vehicle. There are hundreds of details like this. Honda is fine, don’t get me wrong, but on balance a Toyota will give you less trouble and last longer.

      1. I have owned and worked on two Fords (Galaxie 500 and Mustang), Dodge Grand Caravan, Mazda Protege, Toyota Camry, Volvo V-70, and multiple Hondas (Odyssey, CR-V, Fit, Civic). I have worked on a number of other makes and models.

        Personally, I would not buy a Dodge again. I would be reluctant to buy a Ford. The Volvo is solid and interesting in its slightly quirky way and the seats are amazing! The Mazda with the 5-speed stick was interesting and I would have kept it longer than 10 years, but my wife couldn’t drive it. The 1992 Toyota Camry was one of the best cars I even owned or drove. Very reliable and high quality except for the plastic pieces (radio knobs, inner and outer door handles, etc.) and a terrific traveling car. The Hondas have all been solid and I will continue to buy them as long as Honda treats me right and maintains their quality.

        I have not noticed that Toyota “pays more attention to practical details in their cars.” For instance, why was the air intake on the 1992 Camry so low to the ground that it sucked up water into the intake even when the water level was not extraordinarily high? Poor design with no water exclusion feature or air intake bypass to protect the engine.

        Each make and model has its own issues. But I agree that Honda and Toyota tend to be better, overall, than domestic vehicle makes.

  3. In the gold rush in the USA everyone ran out to claim their plot of land to mine for gold, most of the gold miners either never found gold, died or gave up…

    … The people who made all the money wasn’t the gold miners, it was the stores selling the picks and shovels and supplies that the gold miners needed.

    I see this as what Apple will be doing with project Titan, they won’t ever make a physicial car but they will make the best software that every car will use.

    And with Apple’s values of security and privacy it’s a no brainer for car manufacturers to use their Car OS because I can guarantee in the future hackers will be focussing on cracking car OS’s.

    Besides whats the alternative?, would you buy a google car using a google OS that will in essence be a 24hr monitoring device of everything you do, places you go to and everything that’s said in your car?

    I wouldn’t.

    1. Yes, a Google Car would be a monitoring device, a self-tracker. Just imagine the level of monitoring in a Google House! But Google has the advantage of being free which, for some, would be super attractive. That’s why it’s to the gov.’s or the corporation’s advantage to create more and more poor folks so that they can’t afford an Apple Car or an Apple Home. This would allow authorities to monitor and track people’s movements, behavior, and thinking which, I think, is a core goal.

      1. It’s a goal of corporations like Google who assemble ever more detailed profiles of individuals to command higher prices when they slap us on the auction block. Government bureaucracies are not motivated by profit, but by self-preservation, so they would be more likely to gather only the data that would ensure their annual funding from their political masters. Both are breathtaking ethical transgressions, yet we all take everything for granted and cluck our tongues as these slimy bastards hornswoggle us and erode our freedom and security.

  4. Until there is an Apple car, the Tesla is the best available. If you have never driven one, try, they are incredible providing the same wow experience as an Apple product.

    I have no connection with Tesla than a satisfied customer- but there is no doubt my Tesla model X and Apple IPad Pro are my two favourite pieces of technology by a long way.

    1. I totally agree. The experience is amazing. Every bit as nice as the first several generations of the iPhone – constant delight by a company dedicated to pushing the limits and creating the absolute best customer experience. There’s nothing like it.

      Model S and Model 3 performance owner here with no other affiliation to Tesla. Happy Apple shareholder with a house full of their products.

      1. of subsides, loans and bankrolls. The product is aesthetically on target and, per your experience, delights, but the CEO is the weakest link. Smart? Yes, but not the one to lead the brand to stability and success. Lately, he just sounds like a nut.

        He should just focus on rockets and Mars.

        1. Always someone needing to be negative/critical of success. Tesla isn’t just delightful because of appearances. Go drive one for 30 minutes and you will never look at a combustion engine car the same way again. Performance, safety, convenience, aesthetics, customer service, software updates, the list goes on and on.

          Musk could use a nap (or two) and putting down his phone at times seems well advised…but he also is probably the single most important innovator in this current century by a country mile.

          1. Quite so! The Tesla cars are a dream to drive – at least 5 years ahead of anything else. Don’t forget two of the great things about Tesla are their Supercharger network and over the air updates. No other car gets better virtually every month with software improvements.

            For Musk, genius’ are often not understood. I don’t think Steve Jobs was always so popular in his lifetime. But these driven men are the ones that make the world a better place for everyone…

            1. You can fawn over Tesla all you want, but it is still an overpriced niche market. ICE isn’t going away for a long long time. Oh yeah, where are the ‘affordable’ model 3’s? I’d be pissed had a put a deposit. Still ghost ware.

            2. He’s a bit unstable.

              The company has lost $$ the majority of its quarters.

              If I make 45-50K, can I afford one? I want to get over the air updates.

          2. I’ve been reading about Teslas starting to fall apart after a few years. Things like windows falling off tracks, door handles breaking, wheel problems, leaking sunroofs, all sorts of little details that aren’t up to par.

            Toyota ended their partnerships and investment in Tesla specifically because after seeing Tesla’s manufacturing processes and build quality the Toyota engineers said it was garage engineering, a joke, and Toyota walked away.

            There have also been recent revelations about the software side of Tesla and that isn’t any better, it’s a mess.

            I have no doubt it’s a great car when it is new but I seriously question the long term reliability given how they’re building those cars. I have a 20 year old Toyota Corolla that still runs great with nothing but regular maintenance, gave it to one of my kids to drive. I’m not confident Tesla can accomplish the same feat.

            1. Pure FUD. Anyone can search for news articles about the partnership. Toyota bought $50m in Tesla shares at startup and sold the closed manufacturing plant to them on the cheap. Tesla was to make electric motors for Toyota’s electric RAV4, only a few thousand ever sold as Toyota turned to hydrogen fuel cells over batteries. Everything else you’re making up.

              I’m happy you are happy with your 20 year old Corolla. In a few more years you’ll be eligible for new license plates as it will officially be deemed a “classic” car. That said, electric vehicles are much simpler than gas cars with only a small fraction of the number of moving parts (like 80 percent reduction). There is a lot less to wear out and annual maintenance is also much lower. I think you worry too much about that which you probably haven’t invested a lot of time thinking about. I’m glad you are happy with your Toyota and have had a good experience with them but your comments about Teslas seem misplaced.

      2. You do know those electric motors Tesla made for the Rav4 were recalled for being defective right? I’m not a Tesla hater but the information I’ve read from multiple reliable sources all tell the same story. Tesla is a mess. It’s easy to build a few high end cars. It is much much harder to build a mainstream vehicle that can last for a couple decades.

        I’m not making anything up. Everything I’ve said is easy to find on your own. You should read about the engineering firm that did a teardown on a Model 3. Lots of pictures showing the defects and problems. If you won’t believe your own eyes I’m not sure what to tell you. It’s stuff most people won’t notice but once it is pointed out it is easy to see how poor the build quality is. The firm that did the teardown said the Model 3 was about on par with a Kia from the 90s. Ouch.

        1. I actually wasn’t aware of the Toyota recall, so it’s good you pointed it out. A little research at your prompting backed it up. There were 112k Toyotas recalled for a number of glitches, but only 2,500 of them had a potential issue with electric motors supplied by Tesla which could cause the motor to shift to neutral from drive (which is what you’re referring to). So 110k of those 112K recalls were for power steering problems unrelated to Tesla. Not saying it isn’t important, but the context also puts things into perspective.

          The other teardown you’re talking about came from Monroe Associates of the very first cars coming off the production line which are not representative of cars coming off the line today. Every car company has issues with their first batches. Again, a little context goes a long way.

          I don’t doubt your skepticism (which is healthy), but the true picture isn’t at all what you make it out to be. It’s easy to throw rocks. I’m also not all that interested in arguing with someone that “Tesla the company is great” or whatever. We’re all armchair quarterbacks in that game regardless of how one feels about them. Doubtless Tesla will make mistakes, but they also are quick to acknowledge and fix them.

          I can say from firsthand experience though that it is company, selling a different car buying experience with a product that is second to nothing else in existence. In the few years since I owned my first, there have been zero material issues whatsoever and it has even more operating features today than the day I bought it.

          1. Toyota is well known for recalling every single problem they find. That’s one of the reasons I trust them. The problem is, as far as I’m aware, every one of the RAV4s with electric motors supplied by Tesla was recalled. All of them. That is in line with other evidence about Tesla’s poor manufacturing processes.

            I would hope later Model 3s would be improved for sure, but the fact that the Model 3 in the teardown was allowed to come off the line at all is further evidence of Tesla’s poor manufacturing processes.

            Then we have evidence from employees at Tesla manufacturing facilities that supports what I’m saying, along with even more evidence about fires in paint booths and clogged ventilation systems in those booths that still haven’t been properly redesigned.

            There are many more problems as well. When I buy a car I first look at how it is made and Tesla doesn’t measure up. If you have one of the earlier Tesla cars then your vehicle is not representative of the issues Tesla has. Your car was essentially built by hand. That can’t scale and it is scaling up production that Tesla is having so many problems with.

  5. Well I’m glad “Titan” is just a project name because I see where it could cause all kinds of problems…

    Father: Hon, you got a date tonight?
    Daughter: Yes, he coming in a Titan!!

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  7. This is 100% speculation with no inside info.

    – Apple worked with Beats on-the-quiet prior to purchase. [May have even invented them to re-invent themselves, keep the market at their fingertips] This helped them avoid having their name attached throughout the development process.

    – Apple is working with Tesla, also on-the-quiet, for the same reasons as above.

    Now go ahead and skewer me. But i would appreciate some fair analysis of these theories.

  8. Time line of 27 years to release ? makes no senses… and a product under R&D has no significant supply chain 27 years before production and is not in an area of Kuo’s expertise…


  9. My guess is that this car will be a “meeting room on wheels” – an effeminate overpriced piece of exotic materials that will make a Prius look like a Humvee in comparison.

  10. A friend of mine has a Tesla, he likes it, looks nice, but he can afford 9 cars, houses in 3 states Las Vegas, NV, and Hawaii.

    Fine, I see Teslas every every day. A custom car shop can build better for the same money and higher quality, but thats one at a time by craftsmen/artists.

    So Tesla is losing money and has from the beginning and foreseeably into the future, he has pie in the sky projects on the brain, (ADHD?) and doesnt sleep. There are dozens of varifiable horror stories about parts and materials being stolen from the “factory”, long list of things that would kill a real production facility. The 3 Series mess. The world is full of “geniuses” who had one “great” project that stunned the world, but literally every other thing they did in their life was a stinking mess.

    It goes on and on. I had 20 years in the auto business, including manufacturer level, the most regulated product on the planet. MUCH harder as an industry than you will ever believe, and that would include building a computer operating system and selling a few models of computers.

    I could go on, but lets forget all that. The day that Tesla doesnt have the money to pay warrany claims for 1000 independent repair shops (thats a REAL can of worms, some of them great, most horrible) the lawsuits will begin in huge numbers. What if there is some kind of recall?

    WAIT……they are basically BROKE now. So what do we honestly think they can do in that rosy future that some are predicting? My high school classmate can write his Tesla off without a second thought.

    Not me.

    Building cars and distributing them and all things involved with that is not a middle school science project.

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