It’s been long rumored that Apple has been in negotiations with BMW and Daimler for its electric car project, with Apple perhaps considering using parts from either of the carmakers. Now, German news outlet Handelsblatt reports that talks between Apple, Daimler, and BMW have ended, citing “industry sources.”
According to the report, talks broke down when trying to decide “who would lead the project” and which company would ultimately have control and ownership of the user data obtained from the car. Apple, of course, wants its car to be heavily integrated into its own iCloud services, while companies like BMW and Daimler want to handle data themselves in an effort to make “customer data protection a key element” of its offerings.
Apple apparently ended talks with BMW last year, while talks with Daimler only recently broke down. A report from last July claimed that talks between Apple and BMW had already fallen apart because Apple wanted to explore doing the project by itself. That report noted, however, that talks could potentially resume, but it’s now unclear if they ever actually did.
Furthermore, Apple is said to be interested in working with Austrian-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna to manufacture its electric car. Originally reported earlier this week, it was also said that Apple has created a “secret lab” in Berlin where it is head-hunting a team of 15-20 engineers from a number of German car companies.
Finally, we reported exclusively this week that Apple has hired former Tesla VP and Aston Martin engineer Chris Porritt to work on “special projects,” which refers to the company’s Project Titan car initiative. At Tesla, Porritt worked on both the Model S and Model X, as well as the Model 3 chassis.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk once remarked that it is an “open secret” Apple is developing an electric car. What effects the breakdown of talks with Daimler and BMW will have on the project remain to be seen, but Apple is reportedly aiming for a 2019 launch for its electric car.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
The Apple car will be based on a composite body (not steel of alu) there is only one manufacturer at the moment that can supply that … BMW (if we are not talking about super car territory) Yes its wery possible that Magna, BMW, Apple set up a manufacturing site somewhere in Europe …
I keep wondering… if every company dropped everything else they were doing and did everything they could to pump out 2M electric cars that cost $35K and get at least 200 miles of range, as quickly as possible, who would finish first?
Tesla would presumably finish sometime between 2020 and 2024.
Would Apple, with their $200B in cash, be able to finish quicker? Or is the R&D stage going to take too long?
Would Ford, with their ~60 factories worldwide finish quicker? Or will retooling them all take too long?
How about GM? They have ~100 factories worldwide, and they’re already making the Bolt… would the finish first?
Without a standardized charging network between major metropolitan areas, players other than Tesla will be hamstrung by this lack of charging infrastructure. It does not mean Apple or others would not see any sales, it means customers who are looking to completely replace an ICE based vehicle for inter-city travel will see Tesla has the edge on fast charging between cities.
It will be interesting to see how all of this falls out if Model 3 sales and performance are a solid success. ~400k in pre orders for the car already have other automakers buzzing. It should, because it shows a pent up desire for electric vehicles, for the most part.
> According to the report, talks broke down when trying to decide “who would lead the project” and which company would ultimately have control and ownership of the user data obtained from the car. Apple, of course, wants its car to be heavily integrated into its own iCloud services, while companies like BMW and Daimler want to handle data themselves in an effort to make “customer data protection a key element” of its offerings.
I would definitely trust apple more with my data. They have shown that they ar able to keep my data safe (there were a few social engineering hacks but nothing major) while most car companies have shown that they clearly don’t understand cyber security at all.
Furthermore, I think apple would do a much better job building the cars electronic hardware (we have seen all car companies except tesla do a pretty bad job at that). What bugs me most about tesla right now is they iOS integration, while I don’t own one, Car Play seems to be better with my iPhone then tesla’s GUI. When using my iPhone, it can often predict where I’m going. Tesla can’t do that so, a proper integration into apple’s ecosystem is still missing with tesla (and tesla music controls and calendar integration don’t really do they job well).
Nevertheless, I’m extremely excited to see where all this is heading and who eventually wins. My bets are that tesla and Apple will dominate much of the market and other traditional car companies will lose a lot of market value.
Pretty pathetic if they are talking to old school car companies. We would end up with a turbo diesel car from a German manufacturers.
If apple really are building a car, not making it an EV would be a joke.
The user data part doesn’t really hold up. Neither companies do anything with it or sell it.
The other reason will be the key here. Apple is known to force incredibly advantageous contracts(think sapphire conpany that went bankkrupt after failing to deliver in time) with thin margins with the supplier(foxconn sweatshop). They probably wanted all credit for the work too. Not suprised these two weren:t having any of it.
There can probably force a smaller companies’ hand like magna, if they become a little more reasonable.
I don’t get it! Apple stupid thinking is limitless. First they failed to monetise apps store ranking and now, wasting their energy in electric cars and completely ignoring electric cars infrastructure eg, charging stations. Apple will probably be short-sellers heavan within 5 years from now, if they continue this way. Apple Car will kill the brand coolness. They can spend couple billions dollars word wide setting up electric cars charging stations and turn apple into exxonmobil of electric cars! Apple needs to focus on becoming Bulk electric payer, producer and recharging infrastructure provider before Jeff Bazos starts “Amazon electrify.”
not sure how apple talking to BMW to Daimler is going to help them sell an EV – those two aren’t exactly stars in that field
Daimler was probably trying to sell them on a turbo diesel instead 🙂