Bob Mansfield was in charge of hardware engineering for the MacBook Air, the iMac, the iPad, and also worked on the Apple Watch, as the Wall Street Journal reports. I wonder if they’re saying that he merely “worked on” the watch only because it kind of turned out as a dud.
In any case, the WSJ cites people inside Apple that those who are working on Project Titan (that’s the internal name for Apple’s automotive project) are now reporting to Mansfield, who stepped away from day-to-day duties at the company a few years ago.
Here’s why the Mansfield pick is interesting, emphasis mine:
Mr. Mansfield’s reassignment brings a leader with a record of delivering challenging technical products to market to an effort that has been mired in problems, according to people familiar with the project.
Apple, which has never acknowledged publicly that it is working on a car, has hundreds of employees working on the project, these people said. It has hired a slew of veterans from the automobile industry as well as experts in battery technology and autonomous driving.
But building a car is complicated and Apple has struggled to define a differentiated vision for its vehicle, these people said. Some of the automobile industry veterans have clashed with longtime company employees on how best to proceed.
We haven’t heard any rumblings about the Apple Car—whatever it is—in months, so maybe it’s run into more difficulties than Apple expected.
Apple did not comment on the report when the WSJ reached out for comment.
We still have no idea what the Apple Car project will even produce, and we probably won’t know for sure until the next decade, as Time recently claimed. Either way, I’m still hyped.