Hyundai confirmed Thursday that it engaged in talks with Apple, lending more credibility to the possibility of an Apple Car co-developed with an established automotive company.
A spokesperson for Hyundai Motors provided the confirmation (which also mentioned Apple speaking with a “variety of global automakers”) to CNBC. The statement followed a report from Korean website Hankyung that claimed Apple was working with Hyundai on both the car and battery technology to power it.
The Hankyung report suggested an “>Apple Car could be introduced in 2027. That corroborates other reports, such as one this week from Bloomberg, saying that the Apple Car is still five to seven years away. The report claims that Hyundai will carry out part of the development at one of its U.S. facilities.
“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor.
As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) January 8, 2021
Apple and automotive manufacturers
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple teamed up with an automotive company. For example, in 2013, it partnered with Volkswagen to create the iBeetle. The car, created by VW, boasted Apple-inspired colors, an iPhone docking station and a CarPlay-like app.
Since news of the Apple Car emerged in 2014, there have been persistent rumors that Cupertino could work with an established automaker, with Apple possibly responsible for only the software component. In 2016, Apple reportedly talked with German carmakers Daimler and BMW. However, these talks fell apart.
If Apple does team up with another company, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Apple has historically been at its best when it creates vertically integrated products. That means that it designs every component of the product, from software to hardware. While Apple makes use of third-party manufacturers for components found in its current products, it frequently designs these components itself. In recent years, it has brought more and more of this in-house.
Are you excited at the prospect of an Apple Car? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.