Is this new date overly ambitious?
By now the whole world knows that Apple wants to build a car. The so-called "Project Titan" team is blowing up in size and features heavyweights with years of experience in the auto industry. A new report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ, paywall) states that the tech giant has given its car an internal ship date of 2019. Now before you start standing in line to pre-order an Apple car, note that "ship date" doesn't exactly mean what you think. (It's basically double speak that allows the company to cover its ass.)
According to The Wall Street Journal, when Apple says "ship date" it can also be talking about the date when engineers sign off on the main features of a product. Basically, 2019 could be the year when the car's look, powerplant, tech, etc… crystallizes, not when it hits dealer lots. Of course the 2019 ship date could mean what it sounds like as earlier reports stated the car would be ready to go by 2020. The report notes that while the first Apple car will be electric it won't be fully autonomous. We think 2019 is a bit ambitious for a ship date, and the WSJ confirms our suspicions by noting that members of the Project Titan team are skeptical about getting things done in time.
We don't doubt Apple's ability to design a gorgeous electric car with a top-notch battery and powerful engine. What we are skeptical of is the company's ability to actually build it. Apple will need to partner with an automaker to make use of its plants or build its own manufacturing facilities. We think its ego will kill the former and the latter is damn expensive, especially for a tech company masquerading as an automaker. With that being said we want to know what you think. Will Apple will be able to hit its 2019 ship date or is that date overly ambitious?