Sketchy Report Says Apple Car is Years Ahead of Schedule, Will Debut Next Year

Apple's long-rumored electric vehicle is running at least two years ahead of schedule and will be released in the third quarter of 2021, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News, which cites unnamed executives at Taiwanese manufacturers.

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow
The report claims that Taiwanese manufacturers are preparing to ramp up for production of "Apple Car" components as early as the second quarter of next year, adding that Apple has been secretly testing dozens of prototype vehicles on the road in California. Apple received a permit from California's DMV to test self-driving vehicles in 2017, and it was spotted using Lexus SUVs rigged with LiDAR equipment that year.

While many sources have claimed the Apple Car will be released between 2023 and 2025, including analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the report cites an unnamed director at a major Taiwanese manufacturer who said Apple is targeting a September 2021 launch.

While anything is possible, the earlier timeframe is questionable, especially due to the impact of the pandemic. Earlier this month, a DigiTimes report claimed that Apple was in "preliminary" negotiations with automotive electronics suppliers, suggesting that its vehicle project still remains in the fairly early stages. The report added that Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC is reportedly working with Apple on a "self-driving chip."

Over the years, reports have flip flopped on whether Apple is developing a full-fledged vehicle or working on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technologies for vehicles in general. Apple's artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea recently took over leadership of the project, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

Given that automakers often announce all-new vehicles years in advance, one possibility is that the Apple Car will be previewed in late 2021, but not released. For now, though, the report should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Economic Daily News has a mixed track record with Apple rumors. The publication accurately revealed that Apple would be releasing a repurposed iPhone 8 in March 2020, nearly a year before the second-generation iPhone SE was unveiled, and it also nailed down the 11-inch iPad Pro. On the contrary, the publication inaccurately reported that a high-end gaming Mac would debut at WWDC 2020 and that AirPods Pro would come in several colors.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

maclogan Avatar
14 months ago
If you thought the wheels for the Mac Pro were expensive...
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
britboyj Avatar
14 months ago
If Apple were producing a car, we'd know far more about it than we do. The requirements to even start building prototype motor vehicles in the United States are both high, and applications and progress is public.

If Apple (or indeed any shell company) had registered as such, we'd know.

Not to mention there's a finite number of manufacturing lines and facilities able to produce or assemble a car, Tesla would be the only equivalent successful example, and they're as outside the box for car components etc. as Apple might be. There's a reason Tesla bought the Fremont factory.

Again, if Apple had a car production facility, we'd know.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
larrylaffer Avatar
14 months ago
Perhaps they're just going to rebadge a car from another automaker and add their own accoutrements? Automakers do this pretty often.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TravelsInBlue Avatar
14 months ago
Half of MR would buy it, realize they can’t afford a $95,000 car, then return it saying a pixel on the HUD is dead and that its not ready for prime time.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
14 months ago
No way, releasing a car means prototypes on the road now and now way they wouldn’t have been spotted... this is not a computer or phone you can hide in the lab, and where is the car assembled? Lines would be running now...
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
14 months ago
If Apple made a car I can only imagine form over function, no steering wheel buttons or any buttons in general ect.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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