For years, the rumors of Apple developing a mass market car were just that: rumors.
But now it is starting to feel as though we are getting closer to the rubber hitting the proverbial road, as reports surfaced this week that Apple is planning on the launch of a mass market EV by 2024.
Apple is reportedly visiting with both Korean and Japanese car manufacturers, according to Apple Insider. The new 2024 timeline for the vehicle speeds up previous estimates, which had pinned mass market production of a vehicle by Apple closer to 2027.
The company is in the midst of exploring the best way to produce the car amidst the ongoing semiconductor shortage.
There have been a litany of rumors about the Apple car dating back to last year. For example, we reported in February this year that Apple was considering having Kia manufacture its EV in the U.S.
At the time, Kia had reportedly "approached potential partners about a plan to assemble Apple Inc.'s long-awaited electric car in Georgia," according to Dow Jones.
A partnership between the two companies could involve a "multibillion-dollar investment", it was reported, despite the fact that a deal had not yet been finalized. To date, no additional details have surfaced.
Previously, we had reported on an ebb and flow of rumors that Apple was working with Hyundai as a partner in early 2021.
lagging indicator sell side analyst Dan Ives at Wedbush published a note at the beginning of the year noting that "Hyundai could be the first electric-vehicle partnership for Apple" and "that it expects the tech giant to ultimately announce electric-vehicle strategic partnership this year."
Ives said at the beginning of the year that Apple had a 35% to 40% chance of unveiling their own car by 2024 despite the "Herculean" hurdles involved, including battery technology, financial implications and regulatory red tape. He called the move to EVs a "smart" strategic move for Apple and said that a "larger strategic partnership with an established electric-vehicle player..." would be on its way.
The million dollar question remains: with who?