Apple car could shake up auto industry

by | Nov 6, 2015 | Biz/Tech

Corey Martinez
News Reporter

Industry buzz says that Apple’s mysterious project, codenamed ‘Project Titan’, is gaining serious momentum.

Lips are officially sealed but many people are speculating on what it is; everything from in-car audio streaming to a full-fledged electric car.

Early reports stated that the proposed ‘Titan’ was going to be a self-driving, electric car. The car was rumored to be self-driving but now reports state it will more than likely be a manually controlled vehicle.

It is hard to keep the lid on the project for much longer as Apple has hired Johann Jungwirth, a former Mercedes Benz executive and Fiat-Chrysler vice president, Doug Betts, according to news media accounts.

They are slowly building an entire team with automotive knowledge and experience.

Apple has repeatedly avoided talking about the automotive industry but Apple president and CEO Tim Cook said at a WSJDlive conference earlier this year, “It would seem like there will be massive change in [the automotive] industry, massive change. “

“You may not agree with that. That’s what I think.” he has since denied or refused to discuss anything since.

“I like Apple, they make good products. I believe they would make a good car,” said Sayna Matin, a student at Humber who is a devout Apple fan.

Apple is known for innovation and a focus on design and aesthetics. With their revenue flow, outsourcing companies to make the cars, while Apple develops the look of the car, is another possibility. With these rumors and announcements slowly being answered and distributed, interest is building but will the name be enough to sell that actual product?

Ten students answered an unscientific online poll dated between Oct.15 to Oct.20, with six students saying they would not buy an Apple car, while two said they would and the other two people were split between maybe and don’t know.

Although a majority of the students classify themselves as Apple fans, they would rather hold out to see what exactly ‘Project Titan’ is. Other factors such as the iPhone and iMacs short battery life and fragility were factors that also swayed people’s opinion into the ‘No’ category.

“I only like Apple’s laptop or phones. They probably could make a good car, they have the money,” said Kevin Nguyen, 19, a game programming student at the college.

“I’m not too trustworthy with them making vehicles though, I would rather buy from an actual car company,” he said.

While some may be open to the concept, others fear it may lead to negative repercussions.

“I wouldn’t buy it,” Said Luana Desilva, 19, a first year Early Childhood education student.

“With the Apple car, they say that it’s going to drive itself and that will just make people more lazy,” she said.

Although Apple may be a company that believes it best represents the future, students are still split upon deciding how much of it they want in their future. Perhaps they will change their tune when they see the final result, but it’s still a red light, for now.

The proposed Apple car will not be released for sale any earlier than 2019, so potential consumers have time to consider the idea.

The Forbes online site is predicting that Apple would ship around ten thousand units for their first year. The website predicts that over 250,000 units could be shipped by 2025, optimistically.

That number of sales would make Apple a competitor with Tesla which is already predicted to sell around 125,000 of its electric vehicles by 2020.