Further developments emerged this week in the sage of Apple’s rumoured car project. Having been hot favourites to partner on the Apple Car, it now appears that Hyundai-Kia is frozen out – or to put it in official language, negotiations between the companies have been suspended.
According to an analyst note from the investment bank Wedbush, Apple continues to look for a partner on this project; the note claims there is a more than 85% chance that Apple will enter into an agreement with a car manufacturer in the next three to six months.
The bank believes that Hyundai is still in the running, but says Volkswagen is also a likely candidate. Indeed, it currently seems like almost every car manufacturer is being considered: according to JP Morgan, Renault is a realistic option, while Nissan has shown clear interest in working Apple.
What have we learned?
It’s a turbulent time, but there are some lessons here.
Apple really does seem to have had serious talks with Hyundai-Kia about a collaboration. But the key element is that Hyundai confirmed these talks twice, both times against Apple’s will.
Secondly, it’s pretty clear that Apple is looking for a partner to actually build the car. For Apple to set up its own car production would be an overwhelming commitment, even for the iPhone giant. It has a long tradition of letting other companies build its products, so it’s not very surprising.
The difficult company
We have also once again seen that those who are considering a collaboration with Apple should know that they are getting a stubborn partner.
According to information from Bloomberg, Apple suspended the talks with Hyundai because it couldn’t keep the lid on. Hyundai burned itself, just as nVidia once did with faulty graphics cards, which were subsequently banned from Apple products forever. Apple has a long memory.
Which manufacturers with spare capacity are left on the list to choose from? And which of those will agree to Apple’s strict demands to subsume their own brand identity beneath Apple’s? The company is unlikely to allow “Volkswagen Inside” stickers on the dashboard, à la Intel.
However this all works out, and whichever car manufacturer ends up getting the gig, it will not be easy to collaborate with Apple. It’s a company that’s used to getting what it wants, and perfectly happy to walk out the door if anything threatens that.
Catch up on all the latest rumours in our Apple Car news hub.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.