iPhone’s maker Apple Inc. has been rumored to be planning to make Steve Jobs’ dream in 2008 a reality: build an Apple car. Some accounts even mentioned that this project, dubbed as “Project Titan,” has been going on for two years and that the company is keeping hushed about this. It only started to make noise when the tech giant reportedly leased an enormous, 5000-acre abandoned military base to use as its testing grounds and when people started complaining about loud noises at night in their property in Sunnyvale. Also, their budget for research and development for the year has risen to $10 billion, as compared to the previous year’s $8.1 billion.
What else could Apple have been planning? For the last couple of years, the iPhone maker has been buying small technology-focused startup companies that most people don’t know about. Just last year, it is reported that they bought VocalIQ, which works with General Motors on applications for cars. The target’s artificial intelligence software facilitates natural language speech between people and computers. The seen goal was to help make Siri more like Iron Man’s Jarvis. Other companies looking to make speech acquisitions include Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Most of Apple’s talents in artificial intelligence were from their acquisitions. One of the companies they’ve acquired is Turi which Apple bought earlier last month. Apple had now started growing the team from Turi by hiring application developers and data scientists for the new machine learning division that will remain in Seattle where Turi was originally based.
Apple’s head of internet services, Eddy Cue, said that Apple is buying smaller companies primarily for their talent. This is supported by CEO Tim Cook, who said in July, “We have been buying companies on average every three to four weeks or so, and we continue to do that.”
Apple’s Next Target: McLaren
According to Financial Times, Apple is allegedly in talks with British carmaker McLaren about taking over or taking a strategic investment. Interestingly, The New York Times seemed to have confirmed the story, saying that it was true based on discussions with “two people briefed on the talks who asked to remain anonymous because the discussions were confidential.”
A possible team up between Apple and McLaren could allow the tech giant to kick-start its ambition to build self-driving smart electric cars, which looked to have been abandoned two weeks ago. This would be a giant purchase if it was indeed true, as the car company was priced at 1.5 billion pounds, could be the second biggest purchase of Apple after their acquisition of Beats Electronics in 2014 which is priced at around 2.3 billion pounds.
McLaren’s assets are what Apple seemed to be eyeing. McLaren is an expert in exotic car production, advanced engineering and data, thanks to its Formula 1 and technology division. Apple is said to be particularly interested in McLaren’s extensive patent lists, as well as the company’s engineering expertise and technology.
The challenges Apple would face in bringing its own model to market would be huge, so partnering with a manufacturer like McLaren would help give Apple vital experience of the car industry. However, a McLaren spokesperson told Business Insider that, “There’s no takeover, no strategic investment. It’s completely untrue.”
Apple Stocks Analysis
On the last trading day, Wednesday, Apple closed at 113.59 with a high of 113.85, low of 112.44 and open of 113.9. This is lower than Tuesday’s trading records, which closed in the green. It is still unpredictable what the news of an iCar could do to the company’s stocks. However, looking at the simple moving averages, it could go up in the long term.
Current 50-day SMA is 106.21 and 200-day SMA is 102.09. There is a huge difference between the two, indicating an upward trend that could last for a couple of days, which actually started around the launch of iPhone 7 on September 12. Many analysts are positive that news about Apple’s production of an electric car could bring the company’s stocks to all-time highs.
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