Whether Apple — the company that makes iPhones, laptops, and a watch, I guess, and probably some other shit — will make a car as well has been hashed and rehashed repeatedly for years. According to a new report, Apple is back on its bullshit and wants to have a car in production by 2024.
Reuters reports Apple is working on some kind of new battery technology too. This all exists in the realm of possible vaporware, though, at the moment, since Apple has not announced anything official and these plans still sound tentative. Reuters spoke with some anonymous sources:
It remains unclear who would assemble an Apple-branded car, but sources have said they expect the company to rely on a manufacturing partner to build vehicles. And there is still a chance Apple will decide to reduce the scope of its efforts to an autonomous driving system that would be integrated with a car made by a traditional automaker, rather than the iPhone maker selling an Apple-branded car, one of the people added.
Two people with knowledge of Apple’s plans warned pandemic-related delays could push the start of production into 2025 or beyond.
And here’s the bit about the battery, and also the part of the story that further screams that this could all not happen.
As for the car’s battery, Apple plans to use a unique “monocell” design that bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials, one of the people said.
Apple’s design means that more active material can be packed inside the battery, giving the car a potentially longer range. Apple is also examining a chemistry for the battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, the person said, which is inherently less likely to overheat and is thus safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.
”It’s next level,” the person said of Apple’s battery technology. “Like the first time you saw the iPhone.”
Beyond that, details are a little sparse, but if Apple’s car is anything like the iPhone then the first version will look nice but have a crappy battery life and unusable data speeds. Instead what I think what this person intends to mean is that Apple’s car will redefine transportation, or something. Which this car won’t! But I’m sure it’ll look nice, if it ever materializes at all.
And I hate to be That Guy but if Steve Jobs were still around I would have a bit more confidence that Apple might actually produce some kind of car, and that that car would be good, but under Tim Cook the company simply hasn’t shown the same drive or creative ambition. This company used to either go big or go home, but now it goes big, it also goes small, it goes medium, sometimes it still goes home. The tantalizing nature of the Apple Car is such that what you want to see is a bit of the old Apple: A genuine swing for the fences, a project that is huge and interesting and possibly doomed.