• Apple is likely to introduce its first car, unofficially referred to as the “iCar,” sometime between 2025 and 2027.
  • The iCar will be linked to iPhones and will run on it’s in-house operating system, iOS.
  • Itr will be direct competition to Tesla given the assumption that it will be an electronic vehicle.

Apple changed the smartphone world with the iPhone, the watch world with the Apple Watch, and now it’s been working on an Apple Car. Most people assumed that Apple had given up on branching out from its usual product offering and releasing the first ever Apple car, unofficially dubbed as “iCar”. However, there is speculation that the American tech giant is likely to launch the iCar somewhere between 2025-2027. 

Rumors about Apple’s intention to build a car first surfaced in 2014, roughly around the same time Tesla went ‘mainstream’, so to speak. Since Tesla’s explosion in popularity, it is reported that Apple is developing the product with serious intention. While the company has not officially announced its foray into the automobile space, its entry into the auto world might overshadow already established automakers, like Mercedes- Benz, BMW, Audi, Ford, Nissan, Toyota and GM.

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Even Elon Musk has confirmed that “Apple’s working on a vehicle” is an open secret in the industry. He told the BBC in 2016, “It’s pretty hard to hide if you hire a thousand engineers to do it.” Apple itself appeared to confirm the news that same year, telling US transport regulators that the company was “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”. It is reportedly known to be called as “Project Titan” by the Apple engineers working on it.

elon musk tesla model X apple iCar

The Build

Apple’s first ever vehicle is expected to run on its in-house operating system, iOS, which isn’t particularly surprising since the advent of Apple CarPlay. These days, cars are defined by software and tech, not their engine, especially considering most cars don’t really have an engine anymore. Even Huawei makes both the car and the software that runs it. More recently, Mercedes unveiled its first in-house OS, becoming the first legacy brand to engineer the operative system for its own cars.

The “iCar” will be closely linked to the iPhone, likely with a built-in display. Users will then be able to play music, navigate maps and potentially even unlock and start their vehicle through their iPhone. Its believed to initially provide autonomous driving on highways only, retaining the steering wheel and other driver controls. Since the iCar is expected to be a competitor to Tesla, it’s expected to be electric. That also means it probably won’t be a sports car, but rather a cruiser or SUV. Giorgi Tedoradze, a Georgia-based industrial designer, released images of what he believes the Apple car may look like. He calls it the iWay.

Autonomous Or Not?

Initially, it was reported that the iCar would be entirely autonomous i.e. without a steering wheel or pedals. Users could relax, watch TV or play games as the vehicle drove them around. More recently, though, industry experts have said that technology isn’t yet feasible. According to multiple sources, Apple is more likely to be aiming for a less ambitious model.

Bloomberg report, for instance, suggests the iCar will have both steering wheels and pedals and will be only semi-autonomous. The same report suggests the vehicle will be autonomous on freeways, but will alert drivers to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or unfavourable weather. The features will likely launch in North America first, before being improved and expanding over time.

Apple iCar Release Date

The reported release date of the highly anticipated vehicle has already been pushed back several times. Recently, it was reported that Apple is gearing towards a launch date between 2025 and 2027. But analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a credible track record of predicting Apple products, recently said the tech giant will have to make some major acquisitions if it’s to release the iCar in 2025. He said Apple will most likely have to buy up technology from existing EV and autonomous car makers. In a post on X last week, he wrote, “If Apple doesn’t adopt an acquisition strategy to enter the automotive market, I doubt that the Apple Car can go into mass production within the next years.”

The Price

Apple’s products are almost always more expensive than their rivals. This has been true for the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and MacBook. It is especially true for Apple’s VR headset, the ‘Vision Pro‘, which is nearly ten times more expensive than Meta’s Quest 3. With all of its flashy features, it’s hard to imagine Apple’s iCar will come cheap. Auto website Supercar Blondie recently forecast the vehicle will sit within the same price range as its main predicted competitors, Tesla’s Model X and Sony’s new Afeela EV. That means its price will be around the US$100,000 (Rs. 83,25,795) mark.

We look forward to hear more from Apple officially on the new car.