2017 Supplier Responsibility Report line entry may confirm Apple's car ambitions

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 29
The most recent Apple supplier report is mostly a rehash of previous years -- but includes one entry from a facility that appears to exclusively produce car parts and support equipment for automobiles.




For the first time, Apple lists Robert Bosch GmbH (or Bosch) as a supplier. Specifically, the Tuebinger Strasse 123 facility in Reutlingen, Germany.




Bosch is a multinational company that produces a great many products, including electronics components like the barometric sensor in the iPhone 6s. The facility that Apple lists as its supplier is specific to automotive electronics, with "functional areas" of research and development, and "manufacture of mobility solutions" like wheelchairs and similar.




Obviously, it is unknown what specifically Bosch provides to Apple beyond the reported barometric sensor. However, AppleInsider has confirmed with Bosch employees not authorized to speak on behalf of the company that the only products to come out of the Reutlingen facility are automotive and mobility-enhancement related. The "mobility-enhancement" products that come out of the facility are wheelchairs, gait trainers, and the like -- nothing like what Apple features on its magnet page for accessibility accessories.

It is unclear where exactly Apple stands with Project Titan. While once thought to be a whole-car project with a delivery in 2019 or 2020, more recent rumors suggest that the division has tightened up both its staffing and its focus, and is refocusing on self-driving software and supporting hardware under the aegis of long-time executive Bob Mansfield.

More recently, Apple is said to have shifted to production of self-driving car software and hardware. Reportedly, the gear is testing in a virtual reality environment to keep prototypes away from the prying eyes of the public and competitors.

In the eleventh installment of the report, Apple audited a total of 705 suppliers, up from 640 audits conducted in 2015, and the 633 audits in 2014. The report generally focuses on labor and environmental impacts of its suppliers, with this year's showing improvements in responsible sourcing, landfill diversion, and energy efficiency.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    ppietrappietra Posts: 160member
    I would have imagined that a list like this wouldn’t include facilities that are just selling parts for a prototype. And considering that Bosch actually sells some accelerometer chips to Apple for the iPhone, maybe it is supposed to refer to that.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    ppietra said:
    I would have imagined that a list like this wouldn’t include facilities that are just selling parts for a prototype. And considering that Bosch actually sells some accelerometer chips to Apple for the iPhone, maybe it is supposed to refer to that.
    It's possible -- but our legwork on it shows no chips of any sort for the iPhone coming out of that facility -- they're fabricated elsewhere.

    We're still working more on it.
    Soli
  • Reply 3 of 11
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,023member
    Sorry, but the statement in the article is not true. The site is actually producing the barometer. 
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Sorry, but the statement in the article is not true. The site is actually producing the barometer. 
    That's not what employees at the site tell us. If you've got more, email us at tips@appleinsider.com
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    ppietrappietra Posts: 160member
    there is no other Bosch facility to account for the parts that Bosch is supplying Apple for its actual products. To list a facility for a prototype and not for shipping products would be extremely strange.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,023member
    Sorry, but the statement in the article is not true. The site is actually producing the barometer. 
    That's not what employees at the site tell us. If you've got more, email us at tips@appleinsider.com
    I sent you a PM. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Sorry, but the statement in the article is not true. The site is actually producing the barometer. 
    That's not what employees at the site tell us. If you've got more, email us at tips@appleinsider.com
    I sent you a PM. 
    Appreciate it. More info is always better!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Wonder if it is related to CarPlay integration for vehicle manufacturers.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,023member
    Personally, I don't think Apple will in step one come up with a car. 

    I have a bit insight into car development, from engineering to the margins involved. 

    to me it's much more plausible they develop a self-driving system and use e.g. Didi to have a fleet of self driving cabs, and take it from there. 

    Of course they explored options such as Magma, BMW and others. However apart from the complexity one should not underestimate the facts that 
    a) OEM hate to depend on suppliers in core technolift, especially if
    b) mobility is one of the big strategic topics of all OEMs including who owns the data etc. 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    dachardachar Posts: 221member
    Bosch is a huge company. How many sites does Bosch have and which is the register  address? Is it possible the right company name but wrong address was used?
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 11
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,023member
    dachar said:
    Bosch is a huge company. How many sites does Bosch have and which is the register  address? Is it possible the right company name but wrong address was used?
    About 270 sites, 375.000 employees, it's basically registered in Stuttgart, Germany. 

    I think it's this Bosch, since they are a supplier of Apple. 
    edited March 29
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