Friday, December 3, 2021

The Apple Car is already as legendary as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

Before he switched to a largely alfalfa-based diet, the Macalope ate nothing but Apple rumors.

True story.

You can imagine his indigestion.

Also, he had rickets.

But having consumed an all-Apple rumor diet during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the horny one recalls what became the Holy Trinity of Apple rumors: the set-top box, the tablet, and the phone.

As hard as it is to believe, people were talking about Apple working on a set-top box and a tablet before the iPod even hit the scene. The phone came a little later and soon rocketed to the top of the triangle. A lot of this rumor-mongering was pure wishful thinking occasionally fed by thin details of some actual project in the works at Apple. But this was the belief system we followed.

No, you’re weird.

What made these three so remarkable was their longevity. We had them for years before Apple produced the actual things we so desperately desired. And it was odd when Apple finished revealing the iPhone, the Apple TV, and the iPad. Because we had nothing to talk about anymore. No promise of mysterious devices being woven from unobtainium and unicorn horn. Yes, there were rumors of the Watch and the HomePod, rumors of new features for the devices the company had already delivered, but none of these rumors ever generated the level of excitement of the big three. The Watch and the HomePod arrived before their status as Apple rumor legends could be secured.

At the same time, however, another rumor was taking root in the minds of Apple followers: the car. Rumors of Apple building a car took off around 2014, with people predicting one would arrive by 2020, a goal no serious Apple watcher put stock in. And, the Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it’s 2021 and the Apple car has not arrived yet. Spoiler alert.

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Still, the Macalope believes this rumor has arrived. He doesn’t mean it’s arrived in the sense that this is definitely something Apple will deliver. He just means that enough digital ink has been spilled about this rumor that it has finally reached the epic Apple rumor status achieved by the phone, the set-top box, and the tablet. It is a legend, for whatever that’s worth.

What makes the car such a great rumor? First, we have the travails of the Titan group within Apple. A secret project once led by Bob Mansfield should be enough right there. There have been reorganizations, layoffs, executive movements, changes in scope, and deadlines. These are rumors you can really chew on.

Less like a steak and more like bubble gum, chewing forever and getting no nutritional value whatsoever.

Then we have the stores of talks with companies that Apple may or may not have approached to work with it on producing a car. First, it was Apple building something with Volkswagen. That didn’t pan out, but it was totally in talks with Kia/Hyundai. Or not. That’s because it’s Nissan. Uh, would you believe Renault? Neither would the Macalope, honestly.

Next Saab will crawl from the grave to say it’s been in talks with Apple.

While some seem to think Apple will deliver a car sometime soon, Ming-Chi Kuo believes it won’t be before 2025 and could be 2028 or later. The Macalope thinks this is probably right. This is the thing with Apple rumors. You can’t rely on them, they’ll only hurt you. Just try to enjoy the ride.

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Ugh. Pun not intended.

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