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In case you missed it, the Apple Car is back. In the past few weeks, both Reuters and Bloomberg have reported that something is up with what Apple is calling “Project Titan,” after years of starts and stops. There have even been confusing statements about a possible collaboration with Hyundai.

I don’t think Apple seriously wants to get into the auto business — in fact, I think Apple would rather sell Project Titan and be done with it forever— but plenty of tech and finance folks seem to think that time is right for Apple to go mobile.

As in, four wheels mobile.

No one who’s enthusiastic about a revived Project Titan is really thinking much about the traditional auto industry. Because of course the traditional auto industry has been so thoroughly disrupted and invalidated over the past decade that it sold a mere 84 million vehicles since 2015 in the US alone. 

Tesla has sold some of those cars: approximately 1.2 million worldwide. As far as the US goes, less than 1% of the total since 2015. That’s not a disruption. It’s a rounding error. 

But there is a shift underway in the auto industry, toward electrification. It’s driven by a complicated cluster of factors, including increasingly stringent regulations in Europe, a growing China market, and the logical desire of automakers to get consumers to swap their old gas-powered vehicles for new electric ones.

Tesla gets all the attention, but the Apple Car is forever news

In this context, Tesla is getting all the attention because the company is run by an entertaining CEO in Elon Musk, has survived several near-death experiences, has developed an impressive level of customer loyalty, and has transformed easy money from central banks into a $600-billion market capitalization. Tesla is now the most valuable automaker in the world, by a lot.

  China economy grows in 2020 as rebound from virus gains

Project Titan is back because Apple’s current innovation trough is its longest ever. Since the iPhone, the company has rolled out a watch, some new headphones, and a credit card. Hardly the stuff of dreams from a company that’s supposed to define how we live in the 21st-century, at the intersection of design, entertainment, and communications.

Read more: Henrik Fisker reveals how he and a little-known auto giant are developing a radically different business model for making electric cars

Morgan Stanley’s tech and auto analysts published a joint research note last week in which they made a fairly straightforward case for Apple escaping this rut by offering a car. The global transportation industry is worth, by their estimation, $10 trillion, while the iPhone business adds up to about $200 billion. Apple doesn’t need to capture a commensurate share of transportation, it simply needs to nab a narrow slice to emulate its iPhone success.

That’s a nice case by the numbers, but a terrible proposition from an actual build-the-business standpoint. The iPhone advanced the triumph of the iPod, which built on Apple’s ability to deliver premium access to the internet with its computers. These were essentially …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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