Rumors that Apple would make its own EV shot back on stage last week with a report from Reuters on production that may start by 2024. Sources have said that Apple has a groundbreaking monocell battery in the works and more. However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a special remark about Apple Car which says that the market is “too bullish on Apple Car” and that 2025 would be the very earliest we could see the vehicle launched and say realistic, 2028 or later possible.
Kuo cites three main problems with Apple Car: uncertainty about the launch date, uncertainty about supplier and vehicle specifications and uncertainty about Apple̵
Apple Car launch pushed back?
Kuo’s remark highlights that he previously predicted that Apple Car could have launched in 2023-2025, but that his latest research shows that the pressure is back, perhaps even significant. The latest survey done by Kuo indicates that even if the development starts this year and everything “goes well”, a launch can take place between 2025-2027. Based on Apple standards, the rapid changes in the EV and self-driving automotive industries, Kuo would not be “surprised” if the Apple Car does not arrive before “2028 or later.”
Kuo also believes that Apple Car specifications are still in development since the very first launch would be 2025 – or possibly much later, and that – and final specifications will not be set until 2023-2025.
Reuters reports mentioned that Apple Car delays “could push production to 2025 or later.” However, Morgan Stanley analysts released a report last week that supported a possible start of production of around the four-year mark as suggested by Reuters sources.
Kuo warns investors that although Apple has a number of strengths when it comes to tackling an EV, “it is not always successful in new business.” He cites the example of HomePod and Apple failing to capture a large share of the smart speaker market (also saying that Apple’s development of smart speakers has been “temporarily suspended.”)
Player catch up
In the big picture, Kuo notes that the competition in EV and self-driving car space is fierce, and that you can not assume that Apple will succeed. Crucial aspects will be self-driving data and AI instead of hardware, and one of Kuo’s major concerns is that Apple may be 5 years or more behind in that area of deep learning compared to Tesla, Waymo and more.
In particular, Morgan Stanley takes the opposite view as Kuo on the Apple Car for now, with the earlier belief that Apple is in a place to “bring forth new innovation in autonomy and renewable technology.”
And with a new grip, Goldman Sachs analysts believe that Apple is most interested in the car experience.
Back to Kuo, he also says in his new report that the “Apple Car concept stocks” that have emerged are pure speculation and have nothing to do with actual Apple Car suppliers.
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