Apple has supposedly been working on a car in secret and now Bloomberg is claiming the iPhone-maker is pushing for production of an electric vehicle to start as early as 2020.
Apple is pushing its "car team" of approximately 200 people to meet its goal, but there's still a good chance Apple could scrap the plan altogether or delay it, if executives are not happy with its progress.
Automakers usually spend around five to seven years creating a car, so the time frame underscores the project's aggressive goals and could start an all-out war with companies like General Motors and Tesla Motors. Both GM and Tesla are pushing to release an electric vehicle capable of going 200 miles on a single charge for less than $40,000 by 2017.
"That's the inflection point -- the proving ground -- that brings on the electric age," Steve LeVine, author of "The Powerhouse," a book about the automotive battery industry, said on Bloomberg TV on Thursday. "Now you have Apple coming in and this is critical mass. Was GM really going to be able to match Tesla? Apple can."
The Cupertino-based company posted a record profit of $18 billion during the last quarter and has $178 billion in cash with few avenues to spend it. The company's research and development costs reached $6.04 billion during the past year and CEO Tim Cook is facing a great deal of pressure to return cash to shareholders soon.
Cook has been pushing Apple to enter new categories in order to expand Apple's presence into new markets.
Apple's presence into the car world follows a similar path it's taken to break into other markets. The company was not the first to make a smartphone, nor was it the first to make a digital-music player. It only entered those markets after creating a product that redefined those categories.
If Apple's iCar is as sweet as the iPhone and iPod, Tesla and GM are in trouble.