Rumors about Apple making its own EV reappeared on the scene last week with a Reuters report on production likely to begin in 2024. Sources said Apple has a breakthrough in the monocell battery and more. However, the trusted analyst from Apple, Ming-Chi Kuo, is not available with a special comment about Apple Car, saying that the market is “too bullish on Apple Car” and that 2025 is the earliest day we could have the vehicle see, and realistically say, 2028 or later is possible.
Kuo mentions three main issues with Apple Car: uncertainty over the launch period, uncertainty about the supplier and vehicle specifications, and uncertainty regarding Apple’s competitiveness in the car and automotive market.
Apple Car launch pushed back?
Kuo’s note highlights that he previously predicted that Apple Car could be launched in 2023-2025, but that his latest research shows that it has pushed back, perhaps even significantly. The latest survey Kuo has done indicates that even if the development goes ahead this year and everything goes “well”, a launch could happen between 2025-2027. However, based on Apple’s standards, the fast-moving changes in the EV and self-driving car industry, Kuo will not be ‘surprised’ if Apple Car does not arrive ‘2028 or later’. “
Kuo also believes that Apple Car specifications are still under development, as the earliest launch would be in 2025 – or possibly much later – and that the final specifications would only be 2023-2025.
The Reuters reports do mention that delays in Apple Car ‘could increase production starts until 2025 or later.’ However, analysts at Morgan Stanley last week released a report in which they start a possible production at around the four-year mark suggested by Reuters sources.
Kuo warns investors that while Apple has a number of strengths to tackling an EV, “it’s not always successful in new business.” He gives the example that HomePod and Apple could not capture a large part of the smart speaker market (also says that Apple’s development of smart speakers has been ‘temporarily suspended’.)
Play catch up
Overall, Kuo notes that the competition in the EV and self-driving car space is fierce and that you can not assume that Apple will be successful. Important aspects are self-management data and AI instead of hardware, and one of Kuo’s biggest concerns is that Apple may be five years or more behind in deep learning compared to Tesla, Waymo, and more.
Morgan Stanley is currently taking the opposite view as Kuo over Apple Car, while the former believes Apple is in a position to ‘bring forward new innovation in autonomy and renewable technology’.
And with another take, Goldman Sachs analysts believe Apple is most interested in the in-car experience.
Back to Kuo, he also says in his new report that the “Apple Car concept stock” that is emerging is pure speculation and has nothing to do with real Apple Car suppliers.
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