Apple’s expertise in the marketing, technology, and user interface arenas is second to none, but in terms of building cars, the brand probably needs a little help. The Cupertino, California firm has allegedly been scouting automakers — BMW and Daimler most notably — to aid in the development of its rumored electric car for some time, but according to a report by Handelsblatt, those talks have ground to a halt.
BMW was the most discussed potential dance partner for Apple, as the two industry leaders have collaborated on smaller projects in the past. The platform of the all-electric i3 was heavily favored to underpin Apple’s automotive debut, and the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, reportedly visited BMW’s Leipzig factory in early 2015.
Discussions between the three have dissipated, however. Sources close to the matter claim that BMW and Daimler exited the talks over concerns about who would lead the project, and most importantly over which company would own the data. Wireless security and car hacking are hot-button issues in the industry right now, and apparently Apple’s desire to store vehicle data on the iCloud was a major point of contention.
Despite these developments, the Apple Car’s ties to Europe remain strong. Earlier this year, we reported that the company had established a “secret lab” in Berlin, Germany to develop the automobile, and although none of this has been confirmed, Canadian-Austrian vehicle engineering group Magna is now believed to be the frontrunner as Apple’s transportation auxiliary.
It’s not all bad news for the iCar, though. Apple welcomed Chris Porritt into its stable earlier this month, a notable acquisition due to Porritt’s experience as Tesla’s VP of Vehicle Engineering. The word on the street is that Porritt was brought on for “special projects,” but we all know what that means. To stay updated on Apple Car news and rumors, click here.
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