Apple Car may be one of the worst-kept secrets in tech. Apple hasn't said a word about it, but everyone's convinced it's coming. In fact, people are so sure it's on the way, and so sure that it's going to be worth the wait, that Apple is already beating well-established carmakers in a survey on what people want to buy as their next set of wheels.
It's worth remembering here that we have no idea what the Apple Car will look like, assuming it even sees the light of day. But despite that minor detail, Apple's just come third in a survey of the brands people will "definitely consider" for their next car, beating Tesla, Lexus, BMW and Audi (if you're after Apple's existing products, make sure you check out our roundup of the best Apple deals).
The research consultancy Strategic Vision has released the results (opens in new tab) of its annual survey of new car buyers, in which it asks, among other things, what brands respondents would consider for their next car. This year, it added Apple to the list of options for the first time, and the results will send shivers down the spines of automaker execs.
Out of 200,000 respondents: 26% said they would “definitely consider” buying their next wheels from the Cupertino tech giant. That put Apple behind only Toyota (38%) and Honda (32%), and safely ahead of Ford (21%) and Tesla (20%). But that's not all. When asked about their overall impression of the quality of the brand, Apple came out on top in the survey, with 24% of respondents saying they "love it" – well ahead of Toyota (15%) and Honda (13%).
And despite the small fact that the Apple Car doesn't yet exist and that Apple hasn't released any details about it, only 34% of respondents said that they “don’t know enough about” what an Apple car might be like. As Strategic Vision put it, the survey suggests automakers had better be prepared for Apple to "land the moonshot right in their sales backyard.” "What should be concerning to others is that Apple generates a greater amount of Love than any other automotive company... " President Alexander Edwards said.
The results are an incredible testament to the sheer power of the Apple brand. It suggests that Apple's become so reliably associated with quality that people would consider buying a product from it without having seen it – even if it's in an area that Apple has no track record in. Perhaps Apple really could sell us anything.
Is there really an Apple car?
Apple itself has not confirmed that it's working on an Apple Car – and much less that it will actually be called Apple Car, but as always there are links and rumours, and Apple has filed patents. As for the rumours, Apple is said to have a team working on what it's calling 'Project Titan', apparently because the car will involve titanium design. As for the a
All in all, there's enough for us to be fairly sure that the tech giant is at least working on a car – and judging by the results of the survey above so are a lot of people.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who regularly breaks insider news from Apple, has gone as far as to say the company's aiming for a 2025 launch. We've not heard anything on who Apple's industrial partner might be to actually pump out unit of the car, but it's been noted that Foxconn, the contract manufacturer that's produced iPhones, has bought a former General Motors plant in Ohio.
What will Apple Car be like?
We don't know what an Apple Car will look like, though we've seen plenty of fan renders based on Apple patents. Gurman says the Apple Car will be a fully autonomous electric car. The brand's tech knowhow could give it the edge over competitors here.
Motorists are expecting a lot of tech in the cars of the future, and Apple may be better placed to deliver that than some well established car brands, particularly when it comes to things like the UI of the dashboard in an autonomous vehicle. How much will Apple Car cost? It's been suggested the price will be north of $100,000. Considering how much Apple charged for a Mac Pro wheels kit, that sounds about right.
For now, there's Apple CarPlay, which allows the control and customisation of car screens. Apple is in talks with carmakers like Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Honda about putting Apple CarPlay and iOS in their vehicles, integrating iOS into the running of a car, pulling in data on everything from speed to fuel level and operating temperature.
We'll have to wait to see if and when the Apple Car actually gets released, but the public opinion seems clear. People really want an Apple Car to add their Apple ecosystem so they can synch their wheels up to their MacBook, iPhone and Apple Watch. For now, if you're in the market for any of those, make sure you check out the best Apple Labor Day deals to grab yourself a bargain this weekend.