Is Apple Poised to Revolutionize the Auto Industry?

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By Jacob Maslow

auto assembly line
Auto Assembly Line

In previous years, it was very easy to dismiss Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). After all, Apple was a minor player in the global personal computer market. The market share of the Mac hasn’t risen to the level where virus and spyware authors feel they need to produce bugs wholesale for that platform. That is how small Apple’s market share is in the personal computing space.

Undaunted, Apple entered the personal music player space, found it decentralized and weak, and went on to dominate it with the iPod. The iPod went through several evolutionary cycles until the iTouch debuted. The iTouch, with its amazing touchpad capabilities, blew many people away. A lot of people started to openly wonder whether or not the iPod’s iTouch version can be turned into a phone. Sure enough, in 2007, Apple found that the internet-enabled mobile phone space was decentralized, fragmented, and lacked a market leader. The iPhone debuted in 2007 and the rest, they say, is history.

That is how Apple does things. It looks for new industries that may seem distant and unrelated from its core competencies, and goes on to dominate it. However, for the iPod, iPad, and iPhone patterns to work, the industry needed to be relatively soft. This is not the case with the auto industry. It can be argued that the auto industry is mature enough so that any innovations would come from existing players.

Be that as it may, according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has hired hundreds of people on a secret project involving the design and manufacture of an electric vehicle. The brains behind Ford’s electric concept car, Marc Newson, was confirmed by Apple to have joined its staff. According to the Wall Street Journal, the project is code named ‘Titan’.

It is true that Apple continuously experiments with all sorts of products and then later abandons them. However, considering the volume of people involved with this project, as well as the arguable state of technology in the auto space, this Apple project appears to be serious.

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