Analyst Warns That Apple Car May Not Launch until 2028 and Lack Competitive Self-Driving AI

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Reuters’ sources recently claimed that Apple would be unveiling its first electric car in 2024, but according to popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we shouldn’t expect the Apple Car to rear its hood until 2025–2027 at the earliest. Kuo is the same analyst who previously predicted that Apple’s first vehicle would launch a few years earlier in 2023–2025, but new developments have him convinced that EV enthusiasts could be waiting as long as 2028.

“We predicted in a previous report that Apple will launch Apple Car in 2023–2025 […],” Kuo wrote in a note obtained by MacRumors. “However, our latest survey indicates that the current development schedule of Apple Car is not clear, and if development starts this year and everything goes well, it will be launched in 2025–2027 at the earliest. Due to changes in the EV/self-driving market and Apple’s high-quality standards, we would not be surprised if Apple Car’s launch schedule is postponed to 2028 or later.”

Kuo goes on to warn that even if Apple does manage to launch an electric vehicle, its success is nowhere near guaranteed, citing the company’s failure to enter the smart speaker market despite being one of the most popular and profitable brands in the world. The analyst also suggested that people should keep their expectations in check based on Apple’s current position in deep learning/AI, which is apparently nowhere near self-driving car rivals such as Tesla.

“The market has high expectations for Apple Car,” Kuo continued. “Still, we remind investors that although Apple has a variety of competitive advantages, it is not always successful in new business. For example, Apple failed to enter the smart speaker market. The demand for HomePod and HomePod mini were lower than expected, and the development of new smart speaker models had been temporarily suspended. The competition in the EV/self-driving car market is fiercer than that for smart speakers, so we think it’s perilous to jump to the conclusion that Apple Car will succeed.”

“If Apple Car wants to succeed in the future, the key success factor is big data/AI, not hardware. One of our biggest concerns about Apple Car is that when Apple Car is launched, the current self-driving car brands will have accumulated at least five years of big data and be conducive to deep learning/AI. How does Apple, a latecomer, overcome this lagging gap?”

Reuters’ report from last week suggested that the Apple Car would leverage a “next level” battery technology that would not only be safer, but provide extended travel range. Elon Musk later chimed in, claiming that this “monocell” design is “electrochemically impossible.”

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