Many people think Apple’s refusal to buy Tesla when the car-maker was struggling was a serious mistake. But it turns out there might have been a previously unknown condition of the deal that made Apple immediately end negotiations: Tesla’s Elon Musk reportedly wanted to become Apple CEO.
Tesla Motors is the smartest company in the world, according to MIT Tech Review’s latest survey of the brainiest corporations. Apple, which was not on last year’s list returns at number 16, beating out other firms like ride-sharing company Uber and smartbulb-maker Philips. MIT cites the newly released Apple Watch and touchless payment method Apple Pay as its reasons for inclusion, saying that these two products “set the pace for competitors.”
You can see the full list of smartiespants in the table below.
In a strongly worded blog post Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission derided legislative attempts to prevent consumers from buying cars directly from manufacturers. While this certainly applies to Tesla Motors’ plans to cut out the middleman on auto sales, the government position would cover any company that wishes to sell cars directly to consumers — like, say, Apple.
Can you imagine a day when we can roll into an Apple retail store, flash an Apple Watch and purchase an iCar with Apple Pay?
As rumors of an Apple car start to gain speed, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has run the figures to find out what kind of business proposition automobiles could be for a company that tends to steer clear of small or low-margin markets.
His verdict? If Apple cars were even a “moderate success,” Tim Cook and pals could be looking at an extra $50 billion per year in revenues. To put that figure in context, it would be an increase of 23 percent on top of the already impressive cash-generating machine that was Apple in 2015.
If Apple really is working on a car, what would it look like? And what would we want it to look like and do?
The growing chorus of rumors about Apple’s possible automotive ambitions — and the hard facts about the car designers it’s already recruited — don’t prove Cupertino is working on a car. But if Apple is staffing up to transform the transportation industry, what features might it deliver in its human-transport device?
Here’s what we’d like to see in the very first iCar.
As rumors that Apple is making a self-driving car rev up, a peek under the hood of the company’s famed Industrial Design studio reveals a crew of talented automobile designers.
An interest in futuristic cars is embedded deep within the DNA of Apple’s vaunted design team. Working under Jony Ive, Apple employs designers who worked on several fantastic concept cars, including a fabric-covered BMW that shifts shape depending on speed.
Ive has long been obsessed by cars. (He has quite a stable.) As a teenager, Ive wanted to be a car designer. He visited a U.K. design school that specialized in automotives with a view to studying there, but he found the other students too weird. They were making “vroom vroom” noises as they sketched. Instead, he went to Newcastle Polytechnic (which has since been renamed Northumbria University).
A look at other key members of Apple’s design team, and at a super-secret research-and-development facility planned for the company’s new campus, offers a few clues about how Cupertino might go about producing innovative and unconventional cars.
LAS VEGAS — It’s hard to say what’s most amazing about Elio Motors’ three-wheeled car: its sexy frame, its extreme fuel efficiency or its jaw-dropping $6,800 price tag.
That princely sum — a little less than a 12-core Mac Pro costs — gets you a sleek two-seater that looks like something you’d see in a sci-fi flick. It’s got two wheels up front, one in back and a built-in holder for your iPad.
And on the International CES show floor here, Elio’s got a team of breezy boosters who tout its many forward-looking features with the quick-witted humor of the best car salesmen.
“For $6,800, we ought to charge you for the air in the tires,” Elio Motors rep Don Harris told Cult of Mac when we asked if the iPad was included in the purchase price.