Apple has been secretly working on building its own car, reports say, and the company is pushing its people to get the car ready for production as early as 2020.
So says a new report from Bloomberg, citing sources close to the situation. The five-year development timeline is well less than that of most automakers, which usually take five to seven years to design a new model. And those are companies with lots of experience building cars.
Apple’s automotive aspirations have been slowly leaking out, as the company has sought to poach engineering talent from rival Silicon Valley company Tesla and others.
The Bloomberg report speculates that Apple may be trying to hurry into the market to compete with Tesla and General Motors Co., which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.
Apple, flush with cash after a string of great quarters, is looking to enter new markets. But Apple entering the automotive space is counterintuitive and surprising to many. Apple is known for jumping into new technology markets after others have already produced products, but building cars is Apple jumping into a wholly new industry.
Automotive is also a very low margin industry, not the type of business Apple has traditionally gravitated toward.