Kuo: 'Apple Car' likely to launch in 2023 to 2025, fuel $2 trillion company valuation

in General Discussion edited August 2018
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the Cupertino tech giant's autonomous vehicle aspirations -- "Project Titan" -- will be realized in a shipping consumer product as early as 2023, helping push the company toward its next trillion dollar valuation.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Kuo discusses how Apple is likely to reach its next trillion dollar market capitalization. The company became the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion earlier this month on the heels of a record June quarter.

According to Kuo, Apple's quickly growing services arm, AR futures and its secretive Apple Car project are poised to propel the company toward a $2 trillion valuation.

Kuo has little insight into a rumored "Apple Car" aside from a predicted launch date between 2023 and 2025. How the analyst arrived at those numbers is unknown, but he expects Apple to take advantage of what he views as a tectonic shift in the automotive market.

In particular, the iPhone maker can leverage "potentially huge" replacement demands that are emerging in the sector due to the introduction of new technologies. Specific features are left unmentioned, but Kuo believes the current car market is ripe for change, much like the same smartphone sector was before iPhone.

"Apple's leading technology advantages (e.g. AR) would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers' products," Kuo writes. "Apple's service will grow significantly by entering the huge car finance market via Apple Car, and [...] Apple can do a better integration of hardware, software, and service than current competitors in the consumer electronics sector and potential competitors in the auto sector."

Apple's work on a fully autonomous vehicle is somewhat of an open secret in the tech world. Rumblings of an "Apple Car" began to proliferate in 2014, with reports at the time saying the tech giant planned to build an in-house designed vehicle from the ground up. Subsequent rumors claimed Apple went so far as to begin preliminary discussions to build an automotive plant in the U.S. before realizing the undertaking was more onerous than initially thought.

As part of what would become a constantly evolving project, Apple reportedly sought manufacturing partnerships with established carmakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, McLaren, Magna Steyr and China's BYD Auto, but negotiations failed due to contractual disagreements. Among the quibbles was debate over who would "own the experience" and control driver data gleaned from onboard computer systems.

Apple's car effort was said to have grown like a well-funded weed, consuming resources from other departments within the company. At one point, the project counted well over 1,000 employees among its ranks, with specialists in automotive hardware to navigation software focusing on a complete rethinking of the automobile.

AppleInsider sources said the ambitious initiative began to unravel as disputes between team leaders like former project lead Steve Zadesky and top executives took root. Zadesky left Apple in 2016 and the project was handed over to longtime executive Bob Mansfield. Under Mansfield, the Titan team was stripped down to necessary personnel as the project refocused on software and supporting solutions.

Apple is now thought to be working on an autonomous employee shuttle pieced together from the remnants of Titan. Last week, however, former engineering executive Doug Field returned to Cupertino after a nearly five-year stint at Tesla, reviving hopes that an Apple Car might still be in the cards.

Beyond Apple Car, Apple is predicted to rely heavily on its services business to build out significant revenue streams. Because of their inherent portability, Apple services like Apple Music, iCloud and, to a lesser extent, the App Store and AppleCare, are able to thrive on a variety of hardware platforms.

In its most recent fiscal quarter, Apple recorded record services business revenues of $9.5 billion, shattering its previous record of $9.19 billion turned in during the last sequential quarter.

The category will in part be bolstered by redefining existing products with new user interface technologies like augmented reality and the aforementioned automotive project, Kuo says.

Finally, Apple's thrust into AR is expected to bear fruit in the near term. Specifically, Kuo points to the 2020 release of a so-called "Apple Glasses" AR goggle solution.

"Apple has always grown significantly after redefining existing and new products by innovating its UIs (e.g. Mac's mouse, iPod's click wheel and iPhone's multi-touch) in the past. We expect Apple will redefine the UIs of existing products by offering an AR experience created by the AR glass, which will likely be launched in 2020."

Apple is widely rumored to be developing a head-mounted AR device with high-resolution displays and advanced wireless data transmission technology for communicating with a separate processing box. Prior to Kuo, analyst Gene Munster pegged the wearable to launch in 2021.


  • Reply 1 of 73
    Oh no, not that picture again...
    bdkennedy1002SpamSandwichmagman1979MisterKitMacProiqatedofrantisekanton zuykovdewmepalegolas
  • Reply 2 of 73
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,042member
    This guy is usually good at what's coming in 6 months since we had some friends working at Apple suppliers. Beyond this he is just guessing, he has no eyes and ears inside Apple so no ideas what the future holds. To think a car can drive  another 1T valuations is nuts all the car companies today do not add up to that.

    This guy is better off trying to figure out what this falls iPhone will be.
  • Reply 3 of 73
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Good lord he’s worse than Gene Munster.
    bdkennedy1002tallest skilmagman1979backstabanomeradarthekatchasm
  • Reply 4 of 73
    It took over 200 years of having a stock exchange for a US company to reach a trillion dollar valuation.  But Kuo thinks that same company will double in value in 5-7 years?  Well, I hope he’s right...

    Oh no, not that picture again...
    Seriously.  Is there anyone out there that thinks an Apple Designed car would look like that?

    With regard to AR glasses, I’m still having a little trouble understanding how the everyday consumer would find them useful.  I was on vacation in an unfamiliar city and loved being able to have walking directions fed to me by my Apple Watch. I was discreet and didn’t scream “TOURIST” like checking my iPhone would have.  Having similar functionality in glasses would be even better.  But, for me, that doesn’t happen particularly often.  I get it that AR glasses could potentially be very useful in different working environments, and maybe that’s what they’ll be mostly aimed at (if they come to fruition) but, again, on the consumer side I’m a little lost.

    However, I also didn’t understand the use case for a tablet either.  But now our house has 5 iPads.  So, maybe once I see it it will all make sense.
    edited August 2018 netroxols1983
  • Reply 5 of 73
    This is going nowhere unless Apple masters Siri.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    That car looks too functional to have an Apple badge on it.
  • Reply 7 of 73
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,392member
    The last time I checked the market capitalization value of the big car companies, it was something around $200B for Toyota followed by most of the other big companies at around $60B each. If you add them all up perhaps they could make $1T but I doubt it.

    Apple should do well selling cars considering that CarPlay in current cars doesn't have access to the full set of car data like tire pressure, gas usage, window controls, etc. If Apple ever builds a car it will definitely have access to all the car's data. When Apple sells its own cars (with "CarPlay+") some other car manufacturers could refuse to install CarPlay on their own cars, at which time consumers will be forced to purchase a car from Apple if they like the Apple Ecosystem. It will be like the current Mac/PC situation, where consumers must choose between Apple hardware & software or Microsoft+Vendors hardware/software, except that now Microsoft Windows is replaced with Google Android Auto. In the mid 90s Apple allowed hardware manufacturers to install Mac OS on their own hardware, but people don't remember that, and 20 years from now people may not remember the day when car companies installed CarPlay on their cars.
  • Reply 8 of 73
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Every Apple Car will come with a free Apple HDTV.
    grogbog said:
    That car looks too functional to have an Apple badge on it.
    Cute, kiddo. Run along now.
    edited August 2018 magman1979mwhite
  • Reply 9 of 73
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    So it looks like he’s got nothing and needs to get his name out there for some reason?
  • Reply 10 of 73
    Every Apple Car will come with a free Apple HDTV
    Ha ha! I see what you did there. 
  • Reply 11 of 73
    metrixmetrix Posts: 256member
    This is the Zune design of cars, please no. Bring back the McLaren/Apple joint project.
  • Reply 12 of 73
    anomeanome Posts: 1,507member
    Good lord he’s worse than Gene Munster.

    Kuo and the Apple Car have become the new Munster and the Apple Television Set.

    And I don't think that design's very Apple. Should probably be a big, glass cylinder on wheels. Or a cube.

  • Reply 13 of 73
    Kuo actually sounds about right although I think it could be sooner.
    5G will start to deploy any time now.  Significant VR and autonomous car testing has been done and some patents have been filed.
    The whole integrated package including electrification, autonomous driving of newly architected vehicles and ride sharing needs to be tested extensively.

    I have a feeling that some of Apple Physical Car's hardware work is being done at zoox.  ( zoox.com )
    About a year ago, 17 Apple car engineers joined zoox together as a group and I think Apple may have arranged that move.  Not sure who is funding them.
    Zoox is extremely secretive and they appear to use autonomous technology that is patented by Apple like map-less autonomous driving.

    Check out their "crab like" 4 wheel steering capable test cars.

    edited August 2018 iqatedofrantisekdavgregacejax805claire1
  • Reply 14 of 73
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,259member
    I think Kuo is right. 
    But I really pray ,Apple chooses a Uber like usage model ,since buying a car is not what most folks can do.
  • Reply 15 of 73
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,106member
    I think Kuo is right. 
    But I really pray ,Apple chooses a Uber like usage model ,since buying a car is not what most folks can do.
    Say what?

    buying a car only takes one to have gainful employment and a responsible sense. 

    Its not rocket science. 
  • Reply 16 of 73
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Good lord he’s worse than Gene Munster.
    And by 2025, everyone will have forgotten he said it. 
  • Reply 17 of 73
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,649member
    grogbog said:
    That car looks too functional to have an Apple badge on it.
    That's just the Car Mini, just wait till we see the Car Pro!  😂
  • Reply 18 of 73
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,052member
    Why would Apple want to make cars? It has lower margin compared phones. Besides, there’s already a king of EV (Tesla) out there.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 19 of 73
    fallenjt said:
    Why would Apple want to make cars? It has lower margin compared phones. Besides, there’s already a king of EV (Tesla) out there.
    Could that be why Musk wants to go private again, and then merge?
  • Reply 20 of 73
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,949member
    This serves as a useful reminder that more closely examining Ming-Chi's record will reveal that a) he's often broadly right about stuff six months out, but b) generally awful at specifics and often walks stuff he originally said back. In his defense, however, he did not say that introducing an Apple Car (ps, not going to happen) would double the company's valuation. What he said (which is also wrong) is that the Apple Car and ever-increasing Services offerings would help drive the company to eventually double its valuation.
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