Apple Seen in Vehicle Supply Chains, but It May Be Exploring Taxi Service or Car Platform Instead

Apple is intensely researching all aspects of car engineering and manufacturing, but there are growing questions around what form Apple's vehicle project may take, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Apple car wheel icon feature triad
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Peter Fintl, the director of technology and innovation for Capgemini Engineering Germany, explained that Apple's movement in vehicle supply chains is noticeable.

We have seen enough echoes in the supply chain that we know Apple is really looking into every detail of car engineering and car manufacturing. But nobody knows if what Apple creates will be a car or a tech platform or a mobility service.

The report suggests that Apple's car project may not actually culminate in a consumer-purchasable complete vehicle. Instead, Apple may be looking to leverage its software and chip design expertise to create a kind of next-generation vehicle platform for other manufacturers to use.

That being said, this option conflicts with Apple's general desire to vertically integrate the full stack "whenever possible" and "control every aspect of the user experience." Even so, according to the Wall Street Journal, there is "no clear indication" that Apple intends to use its philosophy of vertical integration for its vehicle project.

If Tesla is the model here, it's unclear why Apple's executives would want to endure the tortuous process of building the manufacturing, testing and service capacities this path would require.

If making a vehicle platform is unlikely to fit in with the company's ethos or objectives, and making an entire car is impractical and likely to be subject to fierce competition, the other option that the report suggests is an Apple mobility company, such as a self-driving taxi service.

Johannes Deichmann, a partner at management consulting firm McKinsey whose expertise is software and electronics in automobiles, suggested:

Apple and others could design and commission vehicles that bear their branding, and operate as part of a service they provide, with no trace of the actual manufacturer on them.

Such a service would allow Apple to capture market share while the robot-taxi service industry is still in its infancy, and compete with the likes of GM's Cruise and Amazon's Zoox.

While it is highly speculative, the report indicates that Apple's vehicle project has not yet penetrated the supply chain deeply enough to reveal the nature of the car itself, and concludes with the comment that "it's quite possible that Apple will end up spending billions on attempts to develop an electric car without ever releasing a product."

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

appleguy123 Avatar
4 weeks ago
This is what I have always thought Apple was going to do. I don’t think they’re interested in selling cars and building the infrastructure to support them for each customer for 20+ years. They’re interested in printing money by beating Uber to a self driving taxi service that actually has its cost paid by the users and not venture capitalist speculation.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Localcelebrity Avatar
4 weeks ago
Anyone thinking Apple wouldn't be interested in the supply chain for a car doesn't understand Tim Cook.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Art Mark Avatar
4 weeks ago
Transportation/car as service. You pay monthly for acmes to a set number of hours of use or trips. You have access to perhaps 2 or 3 different styles types. The car comes when you 'call it' and takes you where you want to go. It's a service for large metro areas where owning a car is a giant pain in the butt.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
4 weeks ago
I read this article. It’s nothing more than speculation.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
4 weeks ago
The report suggests that Apple's car project may not actually culminate in a consumer-purchasable complete vehicle. Instead, Apple may be looking to leverage its software and chip design expertise to create a kind of next-generation vehicle platform for other manufacturers to use.

Stop with this misinformation. They can't get a car company to agree to build their car, so they'll get them to agree to replace the brains of their car and be beholden to them? Apple? Really? It's a car, get over yourselves. These analysts are clueless.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
4 weeks ago

The report suggests that Apple's car project may not actually culminate in a consumer-purchasable complete vehicle. Instead, Apple may be looking to leverage its software and chip design expertise to create a kind of next-generation vehicle platform for other manufacturers to use.

Stop with this misinformation. They can't get a car company to agree to build their car, so they'll get them to agree to replace the brains of their car and be beholden to them? Apple? Really? It's a car, get over yourselves. These analysts are clueless.
If an automaker wouldn’t partner with Apple on an actual car why would they partner with Apple on a car ‘platform’? Apple is never going to be a piece of technology inside someone else’s product.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...