Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has poured water on rumors that Apple Car could arrive at any time before 2025, and warned that many elements are still being worked on.
A December supply chain report claimed that a number of car parts factories in Taiwan rushed shipments to Apple for a potential launch in September 2021. The dubious report’s claim seemed unlikely for several reasons, ranging from a lack of hard-to-define vehicle specifications to the seemingly short lead time for production of a significant product.
In a note to investors set off AppleInsider, warns analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities against believing the hype surrounding the report, which has helped increase the value of “concept stocks”
It is offered that the uncertainty of the “launch plan”, the lack of a supplier or specification for the vehicle, and the uncertainty about “Apple’s competitiveness in the EV / self-driving car market” are major problems to consider.
While TF Securities in an earlier report predicted an Apple Car launch between 2023 and 2025, the company’s latest survey indicates that “the current development plan for Apple Car is not ready.” If it were to start in 2020, and if “everything goes well,” the potential launch for a self-driving car could be between 2025 and 2027, at the company’s expense.
“Due to changes in the EV / self-driving market and Apple’s high quality standards, we will not be surprised if the Apple Car launch plan is postponed to 2028 or later,” Kuo writes.
Specifications and suppliers in reports and rumors are “mere speculation from the market and do not involve actual Apple Car suppliers,” the note adds. The “still evolving” nature of the technical specifications also makes it “too early to talk about the final specifications” so early before an expected launch.
In terms of market competitiveness, TF Securities feels “the key to Apple Car’s success factor is not hardware, but big data / AI”, an area for which Apple has not “shown” significant “competitive advantage” in its existing products.
Despite the 2021 claims, other analysts have offered their own observations of the time, largely rooted in another report suggesting that Apple should use “next-level” monocell battery design in a car to arrive in 2024.
Goldman Sachs wrote about the timing in 2024 and suggested that an Apple Car would make sense as a service-supporting hardware platform, but the high cost of releasing a car may mean that it will have a limited impact on investors. Generally, low margins compared to Apple’s other businesses were also mentioned as a possible reason for Apple to explore alternative avenues, for example by offering a seamless user experience but relying on another manufacturer to make the actual vehicle.
Another report from Morgan Stanley also believes Apple has an interest in “improving the driving experience with vertical integration of hardware, software and services.” Apple Car is seen as a long-term project with Apple’s decision to bring five core technologies internally that cover processor design, batteries, cameras, sensors and monitors that could potentially help car development work.
Formerly known as “Project Titan”, Apple’s automotive technology work has gone from self-driving vehicle systems to car design. Apple’s efforts have largely been thought to be an electric car, and have resulted in the issuance of many different patents related to car design and other technologies, and have involved the hiring of experts and the acquisition of start-ups in the field to accelerate research.