Apple plans to enter the automotive industry. According to Bloomberg, Apple aims to start selling cars in 2020. The company is said to have hundreds of people working to develop a car, many of whom have deep automotive engineering expertise. The company also has reportedly made aggressive hiring offers to employees at Tesla Motors.
Apple is being sued by A123 Systems LLC, a battery technology company based in Waltham, Mass., because it hired five of the company's employees. Batteries are a critical component in electric cars, and are becoming more important for general energy storage.
It would be easy to make fun of Apple for its ambition. The Onion has already done so. One only need recall Apple's iOS Maps fiasco in 2012 or Steve Jobs's 2010 advice to an iPhone 4 owner who complained about the device's reception when held (“Just avoid holding it in that way.”) to realize that the Apple Car has comedic potential.
But it would be more interesting to imagine an Apple Car that could really change the industry. With something like $178 billion in cash, Apple could afford to buy the entire US auto industry if it wanted — Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Tesla. It could certainly afford to make a credible splash in the auto industry.
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