- ⏰ 2 hours ago
- Medhi Naitmazi
What if Apple bought the Canoo startup specializing in electric vehicles? This is the hypothesis of Mark Gurman of Bloomberg which makes a clear observation on the situation of the two companies and the habits of Apple to attack a new market. A strategy that has almost paid off with the iPod, iPhone, iPad, AirPods and other AirTags.
Apple is used to buying companies
When Apple embarks on the development of a major new product, it has already made several acquisitions in the sector. The iPhone’s multitouch interface, Siri, Apple Music, Face ID, Touch ID, Apple Maps, and even macOS are partly the result of corporate takeovers.
Apple’s future electric car will be no different according to the American journalist. Incidentally, some of the underlying work needed for autonomous driving and machine learning comes from the company’s artificial intelligence transactions over the past few years.
In 2019, Apple bought Drive.ai to provide expertise in autonomous vehicles. Some of the engineers and managers picked up in that deal are now central to the company’s work on an automotive operating system and self-driving software.
In recent months, Apple has also recruited several people from the auto industry to help it ramp up its automotive development work after senior executives left. It has recruited key people from FordRivian, You’re here, BMW, mercedesVolvo, Waymo and other brands to build a autonomous car without steering wheel or pedal.
Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle
The new target is called Canoo
But a potential acquisition target has emerged that could help Apple’s project even further: Canoo.
The VE startup, founded five years ago, is struggling. Last week, it warned investors that it might not have enough cash to continue operating. Canoo found additional funds, but despite this, she would struggle to produce as much as planned.
Given these challenges, finding a buyer might be the best solution for Canoo. And that’s where Apple comes in. Such an operation would not be unprecedented for the iPhone maker: Its takeover of Drive.ai was done in a similar way.
This idea is far from being far-fetched, since the former managing director of Canoo, Ulrich Kranz, is now one of the principal persons in charge for the car project of Apple. Apple also has former Canoo engineers on staff. Moreover, the two American companies have already shared ideas ranging from an investment to an acquisition in 2020.
For those unfamiliar, the EV startup has developed an underlying automotive platform that can be applied to different types of vehicles. Its range includes a delivery vehicle and a van. But for Apple’s purposes, Canoo’s most interesting product is its Lifestyle Vehicle.
Canoo aims to launch the Lifestyle Vehicle in late 2022 for less than $40,000. The car looks like a minivan but has limo-like rear seats. People working on Apple’s car project say some of their own designs are similar to what Canoo has developed.
A person close to Apple and Canoo warned that Apple probably wouldn’t want the startup’s technology in a deal, but its engineering talent could be an asset. Canoo has employees specializing in automotive interiors and exteriors, software, automotive manufacturing, transmissions, battery technology and other automotive components.
Apple has big ambitions for its car. It aims to produce a vehicle with autonomous driving capabilities (without steering wheel or pedals) during the decade. Here is Mark Gurman’s review of Bloomberg :
People with knowledge of Apple’s plan doubt that the company is currently on track to achieve this goal, but even a less revolutionary vehicle could be a hit. Imagine an Apple-designed car with a spacious interior, deep integration with other products, and limited standalone features — on par with a Tesla.
It remains to be seen whether Apple wants and will take control of Canoo, of which several key engineers have already left the ship… What do you think?
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Apple in the process of buying the manufacturer Canoo for its Apple Car?
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