Apple pushes self-driving car launch to 2026

 The wait for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to bring a self-driving car to the market has been pushed back until 2026.

Apple Cars

Sources indicate the tech giant has also moved away from producing an electric car without steering wheel or pedals in favor of a less ambitious design that still offers full autonomous capabilities on highways. The list price for the vehicle is anticipated to be under $100K.

Apple's Project Titan has been underway for years and taken several dramatic turns, but at its core is a powerful onboard computer system that the company thinks could be an automobile industry disruptor. As for the shell of the so-called iCar, Apple (AAPL) reportedly has not settled on a design with the vehicle considered to be in the pre-prototype stage. The latest timetable is for a design to be released in 2023 and features in place by the end of 2024 before extensive testing in 2025 and a launch in 2026

Magna International (MGA) and Hyundai (OTCPK:HYMTF) have been considered leading candidates to partner with Apple on the manufacturing side. Other companies that have been mentioned as possibilities include Foxconn (OTCPK:FXCOF), General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAF) - while Tesla (TSLA) is seen as a dark horse. Some analysts have suggested that Apple would look to partner in China with XPeng (XPEV) or Nio (NIO). Of note, Apple has held talks with many companies about licensing the new automotive tech platform, including negotiation-level discussions with Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAF).

Why the big bet on electric vehicles? Morgan Stanley reminded earlier in the year that the world's most valuable company has a history of striking a second-mover advantage in MP3 players, tablets and most notably, smartphones. On top of that, the firm believes that the number of human hours spent inside cars will surge over time, rising from more than 600 billion today to 750 billion by 2030, and nearly 1.2 trillion by 2040.

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