Crystal Baller: The amazing iCar and other electrifying Apple rumors

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Photo: Cult of Mac
Photo: Cult of Mac

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

This week the Apple Car rumors have revved into fourth gear as a tsunami of reports from various outlets have claimed that not only is the iCar project real, but Apple is trying to get it onto highways by the end of the decade. While everyone’s focusing on the iCar, don’t forget about Apple Watch though. The rumor mill spit out five juicy rumors this week covering everything from pricing to customization.

Take a look at this week’s electrifying Apple rumors see which one’s are destined to come true:

The Apple Car

Concept art: Josh Baré/DeviantArt CC
Concept art: Josh Baré/DeviantArt CC
Photo: Josh Baré/DeviantArt CC

The Rumor: Apple has hundreds of employees working on an electric car.

When rumors first surfaced about the iCar we were pretty skeptical, even though Apple execs have had the auto industry in their sights for over a decade. Now, we’re full on believers. Experts like GM’s old CEO say making an electric car would be a disaster, and that Apple doesn’t know what it’s getting into. To us, autos look like the perfect industry in need of a shake up. The giant car companies are still entrenched in their old methods, while Tesla is the only company really innovating. The world needs a really well designed electric car as badly as Apple needs a new huge industry to take over.

The Rumor: Apple’s campus has a top secret R&D facility just for the Apple Car project.

The Financial Times says the giant R&D center is located away from the main campus. Some of the employees working there are recent hires from the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Tesla, but Steve Zadesky has also poached experienced managers from the iPhone unit to join the project.

The Rumor: Tim Cook wants Apple Car to be on the road by 2020.

It usually takes companies 5-7 years to get a new auto project on the road, so making iCar available by the end of the decade is a pretty lofty goal. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Apple. According to Bloomberg, they already have 200 employees working on the project. There’s been rumors that Apple could acquire Telsa, but with over $178 billion in cash on hand, they’ve got enough resources to build a better version of Tesla.

Apple Watch rumors

apple-watch

The Rumor: 5-6 million units have been ordered for first batch of Apple Watches

Apple sold over 70 million iPhones last quarter but only plans to sell 6 million Apple Watches at the most this quarter? That number sounds weak, but when you consider that Apple Watch is aiming to sell 7 times more devices than Android Wear shipped in all of 2014, it’s actually a fairly lofty goal.

The Rumor: The gold Apple Watch could bring in $5 billion per quarter in revenue.

We still don’t know the price of the Apple Watch Edition, but based on the the previous WSJ rumor, 17% of the first 5 million units are Edition models, which would be about 1 million in sales per quarter. If Apple prices it at $5,000 per unit, that’d bring in $5 billion in sales. A lot of experts are doubting whether Apple could really make that much, but considering Rolex sold less than 700,000 units in 2013 for a total of $4.5 billion in profit, John Gruber’s estimation sounds pretty reasonable to us, as long as they can find enough customers.

The Rumor: Many of Apple Watch’s health features had to be scraped.

According to the WSJ, Apple Watch isn’t quite the digital doctor Apple wanted it to be. Biosensors for blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels were tossed out after months of testing because they couldn’t get reliable readings with them. Adding a sweat sensor could add an entire new dimension to the Apple Watch so hopefully they’re still working out ways to integrate it into an updated model.

The Rumor: A secret Apple Watch boutique store is going up at one of Paris’ fanciest stores.

Apple hasn’t revealed the exact release date for the Apple Watch but it looks like it could be out at the beginning of April, if this special Apple Watch stand is any indication. There’s no official word from Apple that they’re about to occupy four balconies on the second floor of Galeries Lafayette, but it’s a perfect location for Angela Ahrendts to introduce Apple Watch to the world’s fashionistas.

The Rumor: Apple Watch may have a customizable Digital Crown.

If you’ve been pouring over the Apple Watch pictures the last few months, you’ve probably noticed all of the watches Digital Crowns match the color of the band. How Apple plans to make this customizable is still a mystery. Former Macworld editor Dan Moren has posited that the tip could be an LCD that changes color. We doubt that though. It’s more likely you chose the color of the crown and are stuck with it. Or maybe each comes with little leather color adhesives you can stick to it? Nah.

Odds & Ends

Virtual reality was one of the first iPhone accessories Apple considered. Photo: USPTO/Apple
Virtual reality was one of the first iPhone accessories Apple considered. Photo: USPTO/Apple

The Rumor: Apple experimented with VR headsets

Before settling on the Apple Watch as its first wearable, it looks like the company was investigating the possibility of Virtual Reality goggles. Apple was awarded a patent for a set of VR goggles that use an iPhone for the display. With Oculus Rift gaining so much attention in the tech scene, it’s no wonder Apple’s at least considered the idea, but I doubt we’ll ever see these glasses hit the market.

The Rumor: Case makers are already gearing up for iPad Pro.

The 12-inch iPad Pro is rumored to be coming any month now, but if it is, there’s been a surprising lack of hardware leaks. Not even a giant rear shell has been surfaced yet. Case makers seem pretty confident it’s coming though. New photos of a case for the iPad Pro were leaked online this week, but we’re not totally sold on whether the device really exists.

The Rumor: Touch ID is coming to the Mac, Magic trackpads, and mice.

The 12-inch MacBook Air, future MacBook Pros, and Magic mice and trackpads will get embedded Touch ID sensors this year, according to AppleClub.tw. If Apple could seamlessly integrate Touch ID behind the trackpad, I think this is a possibility. Not only would it add an extra security, but it would be a big boost for Apple Pay for online shopping.