The rumors about Apple making its own EV shot back onto the scene last week with a report from Reuters about production possibly starting by 2024. Sources have said that Apple has a breakthrough monocell battery in the works and more. However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a special note on Apple Car that says the market is “too bullish about Apple Car” and that 2025 would be the very earliest we could see the vehicle launch and says realistically, 2028 or later is possible.
Kuo cites three main issues with Apple Car: uncertainty about the launch timing, uncertainty about the supplier and vehicle specs, and uncertainty around Apple’s competitiveness in the EV and self-driving car market.
Apple Car launch pushed back?
The note from Kuo highlights that he previously predicted that Apple Car could have launched in 2023-2025 but that his latest research shows that pushed back, maybe even significantly. The latest survey done by Kuo indicates that even if development gets going 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 “would not be surprised” if Apple Car doesn’t arrive until “2028 or later.”
Kuo also believes that Apple Car specs are still evolving since the very earliest launch would be 2025 – or possibly much later and that – and final specs won’t be set until 2023-2025.
The Reuters reports did mention that Apple Car delays “could push the start of production into 2025 or beyond.” However, Morgan Stanley analysts put out a report last week backing up a possible start to production at around the four-year mark that Reuters sources suggested.
Kuo warns investors that even though Apple has a number of strengths when it comes to tackling an EV, “it is not always successful in new business.” He gives the example of HomePod and Apple not being able to capture a large share of the smart speaker market (also says that Apple’s smart speaker development has been “temporarily suspended.”)
Playing catch up
In the big picture, Kuo notes that the competition in the EV and self-driving auto space is fierce and that you can’t assume that Apple will be successful. Crucial aspects will be self-driving data and AI instead of hardware and one of Kuo’s big concerns is that Apple may be 5 years or more behind in that realm of deep learning compared to Tesla, Waymo, and more.
Notably, Morgan Stanley is taking the opposite view as Kuo on Apple Car for now with the former believing that Apple is in a place to “bring forward new innovation in autonomy and renewable tech.”
And with another take, Goldman Sachs analysts believe that Apple is most interested in the in-car experience.
Back to Kuo, he also states in his new report that the “Apple Car concept stocks” that have been popping up are pure speculation and don’t have anything to do with actual Apple Car suppliers.
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