- Trusted media outlets, such as Reuters and CNBC, claim Apple is working on a car with revolutionary new battery technology.
- Project Titan, first rumored to debut in 2020, will now supposedly launch in 2024-2025.
- Every news story about an upcoming Apple car has little factual support, citing only two anonymous sources and mainly restating claims made in an exclusive Reuters article.
- Apple refuses to acknowledge the project; however, re-emerging rumors of its existence boosted its stock value.
Apple Car Rumors Resurface
Over the past few days, news of an advanced, autonomous Apple vehicle is spreading virally. Once again, the media resurrects the Project Titan code name, this time moving the goalposts to 2024. News of a possible Apple car moved its stock price upward, as Tesla shares slid. The market is so enamored with Apple that even a far-off fictional car can beat down an existing automotive stock.
The new Apple car will supposedly feature advanced battery technology, far beyond what’s available today. There’s no specific information about Apple’s new energy technology. If any of this is true, the company may be looking at hydrogen fuel cells, which can store energy more efficiently than widely-adopted lithium-ion batteries.
The problem with all of these news stories, from supposedly reputable sources, is that they rely on two anonymous sources. There are no photos of a lab, workspace, or prototype. Apple denies working on an autonomous vehicle. Furthermore, this is an old news story that first surfaced back in early 2015.
Shoddy Journalism Resurrects Apple Car Hype
The re-emergence of Apple Car hype is due mostly to Reuters’ exclusive article. Penned by mediocre, life-long journalists who have never worked in tech or a major corporation, the report claims that Apple is working on a car, only to admit later, it may just be electronics for car manufacturers. The article leads with:
“Apple Inc is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle…”
Later in the article, which assures readers of an Apple Car in 2024, the authors admit:
“…there is still a chance Apple will decide to reduce the scope of its efforts to an autonomous driving system that would be integrated with a car made by a traditional automaker…”
More admissions seem to indicate unreliable sources back the story:
“Apple has progressed enough that it now aims to build a vehicle for consumers, two people familiar with the effort said, asking not to be named because Apple’s plans are not public…”
Who are these two people? Are they even Apple employees? “Two people familiar with the project” could be anyone, including people who made all of this up to boost Apple’s stock value. Furthermore, Apple declined to comment on any plans for vehicle development:
“Apple declined to comment on its plans or future products.”
The entire article hinges on two people. The authors neglected to assess an Apple Car’s feasibility and how one of the world’s largest corporations can develop a motor vehicle on the sly. Apple couldn’t even make an exercise bicycle to compete with Peloton, yet they’re working on a car that will eclipse Tesla. Unbelievable!
The lead writer, Stephen Nellis, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Before Reuters, Nellis worked at The Pacific Coast Business Times and The Information. With weak sources and vague, clouded, and illogical claims, the article loses all merit as a harbinger of future Apple products. It has even less substance than Apple Car predictions that surfaced almost six years ago.
Once a conjecture-laden story emerges from a reputable source, the rest of the media echos its contentions without a shadow of a doubt. We’re once again presented with Project Titan, a story that surfaced six years ago, dying off for lack of merit. Recent discoveries offer nothing new. It’s a web of hearsay and conjecture, not real news.
Project Titan Myth Dispelled Almost Six Years Ago
Back in early 2015, breakthroughs in autonomous vehicle technology left Apple behind. After Steve Jobs’ passing, investors and consumers perceived Apple as a company that lost its way. Every new product was merely a variation on the iPhone. The company had yet to release a large-screen smartphone (the iPhone 6S), as they felt consumers didn’t want bigger displays.
Apple stock continued to grow slowly as the world was climbing out of the largest global recession since the Great Depression. Despite modest growth, competitors outshined Apple. Suddenly, a cluster of news purveyors put forth the notion of an Apple car. Back then, it didn’t have much of an impact on Apple stock. After a few months, rumors died down, as it was clear that the whole affair was merely clickbait.
In 2015, some media outlets substantiated the rumor with photos of a secret Sunnyvale Apple car lab. The facility was used to test the Apple Watch and had nothing to do with a car. The largest and most trusted news providers all wrote stories about the Apple Car as if it was a fact. 2020 is almost over. Dude, where’s my Apple Car?
Appledystopia published a story dispelling the myth of an Apple Car back on February 24, 2015. This report was correct. An Apple Car, supposedly debuting in 2020, never materialized. Now, it appears Apple, news outlets, or both are conjuring up Project Titan yet again, with a launch date of 2024. Is it a car? Is it an electronic console? Is it a way to boost stock? No one knows because it’s bogus.
Media bias surveys don’t factor into technology clickbait. Journalism experts consider Reuters to be an unbiased source. This means that they don’t favor the political right or left. It doesn’t prohibit the popular news purveyor from writing conjecture-laden stories benefitting one of the largest corporations on the planet. With Reuters’ legitimacy, the story spreads like wildfire, even though, on its face, it has little substance. Something doesn’t smell right here!
Self Driving Cars on the Market By 2020?
When Apple Car rumors surfaced in 2015, journalists with liberal arts educations predicted that autonomous cars would be on the market by 2020. This information also came from anonymous sources with supposed knowledge of Project Titan. It’s almost 2021, yet no one is driving a fully autonomous vehicle.
Not only was the Apple Car hyped — the entire industry was going to deliver self-driving cars to your garage by 2020. Perhaps this is why journalists are unfit to write technology news. Most have never worked in a tech corporation. They’ve never even made it past the lobby of corporations like Apple, Google, and Tesla. They have no idea how long it takes to create a car, smartphone, laptop or app, because they’ve never participated in such endeavors — not even as outside observers.
It’s unclear whether these grossly inaccurate stories have conspiratorial underpinnings. They could be ploys to boost the stock values of select corporations. These greatly exaggerated news stories certainly did boost Apple stock while diminishing Tesla stock. At the end of the day, they’re clickbait, which is bad enough. Given that most media outlets are owned by the wealthy, it’s highly probable that such articles serve to manipulate the market.
Project Titan Still Unlikely
It’s challenging for a massive corporation like Apple to hide the fact that they’re developing a car. If this rumor were true, we’d have much more evidence than two anonymous individuals. Apple made some key hires, including poaching some of Tesla’s top talent. This isn’t surprising, as the company has a well-known automotive platform known as CarPlay.
Apple’s hiring of battery experts may be for use in the iPhone and other devices. Electric cars and smartphones run on the same types of batteries. Apple refuses to put higher-capacity batteries in the iPhone to maintain a compact design. With new battery technology, the company could make slim iPhones that last several days on one charge. This is far more likely than developing a car.
It takes established car makers five to seven years to produce a new car model. Given that Apple hasn’t even made a bicycle, it’s ridiculous to suggest that they’re building an autonomous vehicle without so much as a leak. Its Peloton rival is just an app, not a fully equipped home training system. Apple can’t even make an exercise bike to challenge Peloton. How can they design, develop and manufacture a car, in four to five years, without detection? It’s ludicrous!
Apple Car Shows Lack of “Journalistic” Creativity
In my lifetime, I’ve seen the news degrade from high-quality sources, like Walter Cronkite and Jim Lehrer, to the lowest of the low, emanating from social media and YouTube. These low-quality sources seem to be pulling down the rest of the news media into the gutter.
News organizations like FOX, CNN, and MSNBC brazenly shill for the left or right. Few journalists seem to be interested in the truth. Their real interests, aligned with that of the parent company, encourage the generation of false, exaggerated, or misleading news. The sad thing is that journalists are paid so poorly for their slavish corporate obsequience. If you’re going to sell out, at least do it for an ample fee, but journalists are so desperate these days, they sell out just to keep a mediocre salary.
Fake news seems to be contagious these days. It appears as though once-reputable Reuters even caught a bought of this new, mysterious illness. Don’t worry. Fake news isn’t directly fatal. It sometimes leads to violence but usually results in poor decisions, confusion, and prosperity for the wealthy.