Famed Apple watcher Ming Chi-Kuo of TF Securities has written a note to investors stating that the Apple Car may not come to life till 2027. Kuo who is world-renowned as one of the foremost analysts in the world focussed on Apple's launches wrote the note in wake of a dubious report that stated that the Apple Car could come as soon as 2021. His report also comes at a time when Reuters has claimed that the Project Titan based vehicle could come by 2024 and will be based on a mono-cell battery architecture.
According to Kuo, the report by the DigiTimes which claims a 2021 launch is utterly false while even the Reuters report is highly optimistic as he believes that the launch will not happen before 2025.
He has told investors to not invest in Apple stock in a knee-jerk reaction to these reports. He cites that the lack of supplier or specification and uncertainty around Apple's competitiveness for EV and self-driving vehicles could be a major pain point in an early launch.
Earlier, Kuo had predicted a timeline of 2023-2025 for the launch of the Apple Car but with the turmoil that the project has gone through including a recent leadership change which has handed reigns of the product to John Giannandrea from the retiring Bob Mansfield - it is believed that the fate of the project remains highly unclear.
Kuo says if everything were to start in 2020, then it could come anytime between 2025 and 2027. "Due to changes in the EV/self-driving market and Apple's high-quality standards, we would not be surprised if Apple Car's launch schedule is postponed to 2028 or later," Kuo writes.
Kuo also notes that the key point for success for the Apple Car isn't just the hardware but the training data and AI capabilities. This is something Google had been developing for over a decade which has given Waymo the lead in the space. Under Giannandrea, Apple will get an AI focus as he heads machine learning and AI strategy at the Cupertino based company and previously was Google's AI czar.
Apple has been working on numerous technologies for its car. It has self-driving technology and has also hired many experts from companies like Tesla and also acquired companies for the same. It even makes core technologies for self-driving vehicles like LiDARs which recently it has deployed on the 2020 edition of the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro models.