Could you be driving an Apple Car in a few short years? If the current rumblings are true, you just might be. We delve into the rumour mill and round-up everything we think we know about the Apple Car, or iCar.
Rumours of new Apple products are nothing new. We get rumblings about the next iteration of the iPhone about the same time every year, the Apple Watch was a mythical device that had us guessing right up until launch night and the Apple television is still filed under 'things we're yet to see'.
But, now there's another product we can add to the Apple rumour list. The iCar. Well, we're going to go out on a limb here and say it won't be called that. So let's stick to the Apple Car for now.
What exactly do we know so far? Let's take a look...
Apple is hiring car people
Doug Betts, ex-head of global operations at Fiat Chrysler, now works for Apple. Betts has now changed his job status to “operations-Apple”.
Other recent recruits include the head of research and development at Mercedes-Benz in North America.
Read more: Apple iCar looking even more likely
Apple is reportedly building an electric car to take on Tesla
After conquering the tech industry and making a fairly heavy push in the world of fashion, Apple apparently already has its sights set on its next challenge, taking on Tesla for electric automotive domination.
Reports say that the vehicle is being developed at a secret lab in Cupertino, with several hundred employees feverishly working on the project, which has been handed the codename ‘Titan’.
Tesla's Model S
Both the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times have heard rumblings of this top secret project, with the latter claiming “dozens of Apple employees, led by experienced managers from its iPhone unit” are working on it and Apple has hired a bevy of automotive experts, including Mercedes Benz R&D boss, Johann Jungwith.
But the story doesn’t stop there...
Read more: Apple to take on Tesla
Apple's next big project is better batteries, possibly for the iCar
It’s been a big few weeks for the iCar, with rumours of the Apple-made vehicle increasing further with this lawsuit filed against Apple by battery manufacturer A123.
According to the lawsuit, Apple has been poaching some of A123’s engineers for its own battery project.
Whatever would the Cupertino giant need with car battery experts?
Read further on into the lawsuit and it states: "They are doing so in an effort to support Apple's apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not identical to A123's, in competition with A123."
So, a team that creates batteries for cars.
It’s important to note that Apple hasn’t commented on any of these rumours, so there’s no way to be sure it’s a car that’s being worked on, maybe it's just supercharged battery tech for phones, tablets and laptops.
Read more: Apple's next big project
Apple Car by 2020?
So, the batteries are being developed and the team is in place, but when might we be able to get our hands around the wheel of one of these Apple Cars?
Well, according to Bloomberg, it’ll be in just a few short years, 2020 to be a little more precise. That date comes from “people with knowledge of the matter”, but of course we aren’t likely to see confirmation any time soon from Apple.
In-car entertainment: Well CarPlay, of course
If Apple was to develop and release a car, there’s one thing we’re pretty certain on - the in-car entertainment will come from CarPlay.
Originally dubbed ‘iOS in the Car’, CarPlay takes your iPhone and beams it onto your dashboard. That means call and texts can be responded to hands-free, music can be played through the speakers and you can navigate using the Maps app, however awful it may be.
Siri’s built in too, so you can command the voice controlled assistant to do your bidding.
There are a few cars on the market that come rocking CarPlay, though after-market add ons, from Pioneer, are also available to spruce up your current ride.
Read more: Is Apple CarPlay any good?