Rumours are rife in Silicon Valley that Apple has set its sights on launching a new car. The Apple car, codenamed Titan, first came to light in the last week or so, as it began to emerge that a number of Tesla’s employees were starting to migrate from the automobile manufacturer over to the tech giant. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, let slip “Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla, but so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”
So far, there are few details about the Titan, with leaks and rumours fuelling all sorts of speculation.
Some people are suggesting that the Titan technology will focus on creating driverless, autonomous vehicles – in an effort to compete with google’s driverless cars. Others are talking about a Tesla like car that is more focused on design aesthetic and the hardware required to run on a battery for long distances. Given Apple’s rich history in delivering ground-breaking hardware, this would not be a massive stretch of the imagination.
According to some industry sources, there may not even be a car and Titan is simply a software play for Apple as they look to support the underlying technology that fuels driverless cars. This would make sense in the context of CarPlay, Apple’s software that manages your in-car media via your iPhone. In building out the platform, the tech giant can position itself as the market leader for all the services associated with autonomous driving, such as maps, re-charging, car sharing and of course, entertainment.
Obviously any of the above would represent a massive shift for Apple, away from communications and computers and into a hitherto unknown space for them. What’s clear is that they need to innovate. Having had the most profitable quarter of any company ever, they have to start thinking about new markets if they’re to sustain their incredible growth. With some people questioning the need for an apple watch, this may be their next best bet.