Car buffs, tech aficionados, and anyone with regular access to a news outlet have heard the rumors that claim Apple is busily developing its first-ever car. While Project Titan, as it’s called internally, has allegedly been moving at a neck-snapping pace under Tim Cook’s leadership, a former Apple executive revealed that company co-founder Steve Jobs occasionally talked about what a Cupertino-built car could look like.
Tony Fadell, a forward-thinking engineer who co-designed the original iPhone, revealed that he used to informally chat with Jobs about what an iCar’s dashboard could look like, what form the seats could take, and what fuel it could be powered by. Fadell stressed that the questions were purely hypothetical, and that Apple wasn’t actively developing a car in 2008, when most of his conversations with Jobs took place.
Apple execs liked the idea of building a car, but they ultimately decided not to move forward with the project in order to allocate the company’s resources to other, more far-reaching products with a bigger effect on consumers around the world. Notably, Apple focused on successfully rolling out the first-generation iPhone in 2007 and, three years later, the original iPad.
Fadell stopped short of confirming that Apple is planning on entering the auto industry before the end of the decade. He has no firsthand knowledge of the company’s plans for the future because he stepped down from the tech giant in 2008 and co-founded Google-owned Nest Labs two years later. However, he suggested that a car and an iPhone have a lot more in common than meets the eye.
“A car has batteries; it has a computer; it has a motor; and it has mechanical structure. If you look at an iPhone, it has all the same things. It even has a motor in it,” explained Fadell in a televised interview with Bloomberg.
The iCar isn’t the only new product that took a backseat to the iPhone; Fadell revealed that Apple also considered diversifying its business in the late 2000s by making televisions and cameras. It introduced its first television earlier this year, but it looks like plans for an iCamera have been shelved for good.