On November 18, according to Bloomberg News, Apple has completed most of the work on the first-generation car chip, reaching a key milestone in the fully autonomous driving system. Meanwhile, Apple’s internal goal may be to launch its fully self-driving car within 4 years (by 2025).
That’s right, the world-famous Apple car is accelerating.
Stimulated by this news, Apple’s stock price closed up 2.85% that day, its market value rose by $71.9 billion (about 460 billion yuan) overnight, and its total market value reached $2.6 trillion, returning to the world’s No. 1 throne.
Apple’s “Titan Project” for car-making began in 2014 and has been working in secret. Now it has finally entered the sprint period, which may reshape the global electric vehicle landscape.
Some analysts believe that once the Apple car is released, Tesla’s stock price will plummet by 81%, because the technology of Apple’s car will be amazing.
Compared with Tesla, the king of electric cars, what advantages does Apple Car have?
Since the birth of “Project Titan” in 2014, Apple’s road to building a car has been very tortuous.
For example, whether to manufacture a complete vehicle or to be a supplier of automatic driving systems has not been conclusive; for another example, in terms of technology, whether to specialize in assisted automatic driving technology for steering and acceleration, or fully automatic driving technology that does not require human control at all.
Judging from the news of this exposure, Apple has tended to fully autonomous driving technology, which is one level higher than the existing technologies of Tesla and Huawei.
It is reported that the research and development of the fully automatic driving chip required for Apple’s first-generation car has been basically completed. The core is driven by the chip’s underlying software and AI algorithms, and will soon be applied to road tests.
And this epoch-making automotive processor chip comes from Apple’s Silicon Engineering Department, the team that designs chips for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
What does the car look like? The Apple Titan Project has applied for a lot of patents over the years, and no drawings have been released so far, but someone abroad has conceived the appearance of the Apple car based on these patents:
On this SUV-like electric car, the front and rear windshields are integrated with the roof, and the side lines of the body are very simple, quite Apple design style.
The interior of the car is equipped with an oversized Display screen, which is full of futuristic feeling.
The market is extremely optimistic about the upcoming Apple car. Some say that Apple will be Tesla’s biggest rival. Others believe that Apple’s car will surpass any existing car company in terms of battery and autonomous driving technology, just like the iPhone’s subversion of feature phones. .
We believe that Apple’s advantages in car building lie in its financial and R&D strength. As the world’s largest company by market value, Apple has huge capital and the most mature R&D team to build cars, which is unmatched by most car companies.
Moreover, smart cars are the integration of hardware (vehicle manufacturing) and software (autonomous driving system). I am afraid that no one has more right to speak than Apple. After all, among all mobile phone brands in the world, only Apple can dominate both software and hardware. ecological closed loop.
For Tesla and other automakers, their advantage may be time.
It is estimated that Apple’s first-generation car will be available as soon as 2025, which ultimately depends on the research and development progress of the autonomous driving system and the manufacturing process.
Vehicle manufacturing has always been a shortcoming of cross-border vehicle manufacturing. Therefore, new forces such as Wei Xiaoli in China have chosen the OEM model and asked JAC, Haima and Lifan to help build vehicles.
In 2016, Apple also felt that building a car was too risky. It gave up the whole vehicle plan, focused on software research and development, and sought cooperation with car companies worldwide. But there has been no progress. BMW, Mercedes and other car companies have refused to cooperate with Apple because they do not want car design and production data to be controlled.
Since the global car building boom in 2020, Apple has also sought to cooperate with Japanese and Korean car companies for OEM. Car companies including Toyota and Hyundai have been visited.
As a result, the auto giants were not willing to earn the kind of OEM money that Foxconn did, and Apple failed to do so.
After hitting a wall, Apple is now reaching out to global auto parts manufacturers, and may eventually embark on the road of self-developed cars, and it will give priority to making cars in the United States.
The test time of fully autonomous driving technology, plus the exploration time of vehicle manufacturing, it is destined that the Apple car will not be available earlier than 2025.
Even if it has technology that subverts the industry, it can only wait for the time to come, and the few years left will be the golden age of Tesla and BYD. If we can get ahead of the curve in the next few years, Apple will not be too passive after the birth of the car.
There is Apple in the front, and Baidu and Xiaomi in the back. Why do more and more giants choose to build cars across borders and specialize in autonomous driving systems?
The root of Apple’s car is that the iPhone is about to decline.
For 10 years, Apple has dominated the world with the iPhone and enjoyed the dividends of the mobile Internet. Its share price has more than doubled, making it the world’s largest company by market value, and it may become the world’s first tech giant with a net profit of over $100 billion this year.
Behind the infinite beauty, its weaknesses and hidden dangers are being revealed.
Apple’s revenue is overly dependent on the iPhone, and its revenue consists of five major parts: iPhone, service revenue, MAC, iPad, wearable devices, household products and peripheral products.
The third quarterly report for 2021 released in July shows that iPhone revenue is as high as $39.57 billion, still occupying half of the Apple empire.
Since 2018, global mobile phone sales have bid farewell to high growth and have been declining year by year. In a few years, the mobile phone will become like the PC as a general consumer electronics industry with little growth, and the story will come to an end.
Facing the next 10 years, Apple has deployed two powerful tools—AR and cars. Cook is optimistic about AR, and the market is more optimistic about the mysterious Apple car.
As for cross-border giants, they have embraced autonomous driving, because it is really not profitable to simply build cars.
With the global auto market slowing down and increasing competition, the auto industry has entered a low-margin era. Taking 2019 as an example, the gross profit margin of the world’s largest auto giant “Toyota” was 18%, and the gross profit margin of China’s first auto giant “SAIC Group” was 12%. , earning hard money.
But smart cars are different. It has the potential to replace mobile phones. Huawei has concluded that every car in the future will be a mobile data center on wheels.
At that time, the overall valuation system of the auto industry will undergo profound changes. It will no longer be a low-profit manufacturing industry, but can also earn high profits from software and ecology.
Tesla’s trillion-dollar market value is estimated in this way. Some analysts believe that if 80% of Tesla users subscribe to FSD services in 10 years, it will bring Tesla $100 billion in operating profit every year. , the self-driving software alone is worth $850 billion.
Therefore, Tesla is apparently selling cars at a lower price, but it is actually accelerating its market share. The ultimate goal is to sell autonomous driving services and make money from the entire ecosystem.
As an ecological winner in the era of the Internet and mobile Internet, Apple is naturally well aware of the power of hardware and software to generate revenue, and it is an inevitable choice to specialize in fully autonomous driving technology.
At present, in the field of autonomous driving, there are the lidar genre represented by Huawei and the visual recognition genre represented by Tesla. Apple’s fully autonomous driving is very likely to subvert both.
After the initial results of electrification, the automotive intelligent revolution has just kicked off!
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