Apple showrooms may have to get a whole lot bigger in the next five years, as the rumours keep speeding in on the company's plans to produce its own electric vehicle. The latest to speak to sources claiming to have insider knowledge of the so-called project "Titan" is Bloomberg, which states Apple has a team of 200 working on revealing an iCar of some description by 2020.
Given that the design and manufacturer of a new car usually takes five to seven years -- ten years for a first project -- Apple's set itself an aggressive timeframe, if the rumours are true. Though little is known about the vehicle, Apple's car is expected to go head-to-head with Tesla's electric models.
Pouring gallons of fuel onto the fire is Apple's hiring spree in the battery industry, poaching five employees from Massachusetts based battery makers A123 Systems and courting similar experts at LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba. Indeed, Elon Musk, boss over at potential rivals Tesla, told Bloomberg Businessweek that Apple was luring away his team with the promise of $250,000 sign on bonuses and 60 per cent salary increases.
Apple's got the money to burn in building these teams, too. It posted a staggering record profit of $18 billion last quarter, with $178 billion in the kitty. With its R&D costs sitting at a relatively small $6.04 billion last year, its shareholders will be putting pressure on CEO Tim Cook to explore other avenues within which to further increase their return. [Bloomberg]
Image Credit: Waracle