April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.
In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.
It’s an open secret that an Apple Car is on the drawing board, but no one has a clue what it’ll look like. A new collection of concept designs doesn’t make serious suggestions but takes the idea for a fun spin. The designs combine popular car models with Apple products
Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda has chimed in on the possibility of an Apple car, saying the automotive industry welcomes new players with “the potential to breathe [fresh] life into the auto industry and give customers a wider range of choices.”
However, he threw minor shade at new arrivals like the Cupertino tech giant, noting how much more experienced Toyota is. “After making a vehicle, I’d like them to be prepared to deal with customers and various changes for some 40 years,” Toyoda said during a Thursday press conference by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
After talks with potential automotive partners stalled, Cupertino could stick with its key iPhone manufacturer to produce an Apple car, a Thursday report from Bloomberg suggests.
This would mark a big change in Apple’s strategy for breaking into the auto industry. The company previously looked to hook up with an established automaker — albeit seemingly with Apple receiving top billing.
BMW’s Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Peter isn’t worried about Apple’s entry into the automotive industry. Or, if he is, he’s not willing to say as much.
“I sleep very peacefully,” Peter said when asked about the rumored Apple car. “Competition is a wonderful thing — it helps motivate the others. We’re in a very strong position and we want to remain in a leading position of the industry.”
The will-they-won’t-they drama involving Apple and Kia’s possible team-up to build an Apple car is on again.
Shares in the automaker rose by up to 8.1% Friday, after rumors abounded that there is still a chance that they will work with Apple on an electric vehicle. Even if it turns out to be a slightly different vehicle to the one some are expecting.