Apple, one of the world’s leading technology companies, has just added fuel to the speculations about its desire to produce its own car and become a competitor for the traditional roster of automakers.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, was recently confronted by a shareholder during a public forum and he seemed to hint the company was ready to invest its cash hoard in the automotive industry. “The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn’t it?” commented Williams during the Re/code conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “We’re exploring a lot of different markets,” he added after being further pressed by Re/code co-founder Walt Mossberg. He did backtrack his stance a little bit after that, deflecting the conversation towards the growing importance of Apple’s in-car information and entertainment system, CarPlay. Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook has been recently intensely pressured to return some of the cash to shareholders as he also steers the company towards new sectors, such as watches and mobile payments – all owing to the general strategy that consumers could have their lives interwoven with Apple’s products and services.
According to numerous reports, the Cupertino, California-based company has started as of last year researching the development of an electric car, possible with at least semi-autonomous functions, with the team seeking to complete the model in time for deliver as early as 2020. Apple has also been rumored to prepare a tie or purchase of another interesting player in the field of automotive technology – Tesla Motors. But Cook deflected the questions about the luxury electric car producer, saying they have no working relationship with the automaker headed by billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder Elon Musk.