The Apple Watch comes out in April. But, could the company’s next potentially revolutionary product be called the Apple Car? Or, the iMobile?
Apple is reportedly looking to add an electric car to its list of revolutionary products. The tech giant has apparently put “several hundred” of its employees to work on a secret project to develop its own branded electric automobile, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites anonymous sources.
The WSJ sources claim the project is code-named “Titan” and that early designs show a vehicle that looks similar to a minivan. Apple is in the early stages of development and, assuming the project isn’t scrapped at some point, it could still be many years before the tech giant unveils the vehicle at one of its much-hyped product events.
Apple (AAPL) did not comment on the WSJ article, nor did it comment on a Financial Times report earlier in the day that said the company had hired a team of auto technology and design experts. FT noted the possibility that Apple could simply have brought on the team to work on its in-car entertainment platform, CarPlay.
Electric cars represent a very small, but rapidly growing, segment of the U.S. auto industry. Almost 120,000 of the plug-in vehicles were sold in the U.S. last year — a 23% bump from 2013 and 128% more than the previous year. Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors (TSLA) is one of the best known purveyors of electric cars, but leading automakers such as General Motors (GM), Nissan (NSANY) and Toyota (TM) all produce popular electric models.
Apple’s tech rival, Google (GOOG), has also taken steps to enter the auto industry, though the online search company is working to develop a driverless car. Google is also currently rumored to be working on developing a ride-hailing service that could rival Uber.