Though Steve Jobs was known to have considered an Apple Car as early as 2008, it is believed Apple first green-lighted an exploratory automotive project in 2014. In 2015, they began a wave of hiring of people in the automotive industry.
In the summer of 2015 rumors began to surface that Apple was in talks with BMW to consider outsourcing production to them and possibly using the technology BMW had built into its lightweight i3 electric vehicle. Though Apple executives were said to have visited BMW facilities, apparently nothing formal was agreed upon due to BMWs trepidation. It was reported though that the companies stayed on good terms leaving open the potential to work together in the future
Earlier this month BMW announced its plans for its iNEXT vehicle line.
These vehicles, expected in about 5 years, look to be the automaker’s effort to thwart future competition from Apple and Google.
“We will lead the BMW Group into a new era,”said BMW CEO Harald Krueger, signalling a critical shift in the company’s strategy
The vehicles are expected to be made of high-tech lightweight materials, contain electric powertrains and include autonomous driving capability and connected software services.
Analysts believe this announcement has signaled BMWs intention to go it alone and believe the company has likely severed ties with Apple.
BMW it is thought would rather avoid being a parts supplier to Apple, like Foxconn.
It also illustrates the rising tension between technology companies and traditional automakers as the two industries merge.
Source (Motley Fool)