Apple is continuing to provide credible reasons that it may be working on an electric vehicle, as a new report suggests that Cupertino is in the midst of hiring away battery experts from major companies involved with the car industry.
The latest company to be allegedly targeted? None other than longtime Apple rival, Samsung.
Samsung SDI is one of a select few major battery suppliers worldwide, and supplies products to BMW and others leading car manufacturers.
“As the electric vehicle business is a new one, Apple needs patents and experts in battery technology,” one source tells the Korea Times. “Top human resources firms have been approaching Samsung’s battery experts, individually, and I think such human exchange moves are a win-win for both.”
Apple is also apparently recruiting Samsung technicians and engineers with expertise in signal and visual-processing management. According to today’s report, the employees are being offered lucrative perks and salaries to jump ship, and are given greater independence to proceed with their work than they had at Samsung. The report does not specify how many ex-Samsung employees are being targeted as part of the recruitment drive.
While it’s possible to write this off as an unconfirmed rumor — or else to point to the multitude of other non-iCar products Apple could use battery experts for — today’s report does follow on from another interesting piece of related news. Earlier this month, a complaint was filed in court stating that Apple has been engaged in an “aggressive campaign” to poach top engineers from the electric car battery maker A123 Systems.
Is this a case of wishful thinking on the part of journos looking to “join the dots” — or is this continued focus on carmakers proof positive that Apple really is interested in building an electric vehicle? At this point, I’m not sure — but I know which one I’m hoping for.