Although Apple has yet to even admit it’s working on a self-driving electric vehicle, plenty of people want to buy a car from Cupertino. Almost a third of recent car buyers say they’d consider an Apple car. And that includes more than half of Tesla owners.
It seems clear that if the Mac-maker can transform itself into an automaker, it could have a real hit on its hands.
People sure want an Apple car
Apple doesn’t talk about products still in the development stage, so it’s never definitively admitted it’s working on a self-driving vehicle. Nevertheless, the company keeps hiring high-level executives away from automakers. And numerous leaks indicate the project has been going on for about a decade.
Potential buyers have been paying enough attention to the rumors that there’s real anticipation about a possible Apple car. Market-analysis firm Strategic Vision recently asked new vehicle owners which automobile brands they would consider buying from in the future.
“Apple is the 3rd highest brand consideration with 26% of customers stating they would ‘Definitely Consider’ an Apple-branded vehicle in the future” said Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards.
Apple comes in just behind Toyota (38%) and Honda (32%). It’s ahead of Ford (21%) and Tesla (20%). And there’s more bad news for Elon Musk in the survey.
“Over 50% of Tesla owners would ‘Definitely Consider’ a future Apple vehicle,” said Edwards.
Of course, survey respondents have no hard details on the Apple car.
“What Apple ultimately presents in terms of styling, powertrain, product, and other key features will finally determine the level of interest generated among car shoppers,” noted the Strategic Vision exec. “However, their brand awareness and reputation provide a formidable platform that automotive manufacturers should brace themselves for accordingly.”
The usual time frame thrown out for a possible release of an Apple self-driving electric vehicle is 2025. But the project has been a struggle for Cupertino (just like it has been for other autonomous automakers).