Analyst Neil Cybart argues that a large jump in Apple’s research & development spending points towards the company thinking beyond the iPhone to “its largest pivot yet”:
In reality, people are grossly underestimating the odds that Project Titan will lead to Apple actually shipping an electric car. At this point, I peg odds of Apple selling its own electric car to be at least 80 percent. There is one very simple reason for my high degree of confidence: Project Titan is a long-term pivot. I don’t consider Titan to be just another project that Apple has been tinkering around with in the lab for years like an Apple television set or Apple Pencil. Instead, Project Titan is much more about building a foundation for Apple that will literally represent the company’s future.
Before the iPhone launched in 2007, there was a huge amount of buzz about whether Apple would even attempt such a project—the situation with the car right now seems pretty equivalent. And, if you’re Apple, you have to realize that with iPhone growth slowing down, you need to look elsewhere to continue along the same trajectory. Neil’s analysis is certainly the most convincing argument I’ve seen yet that an Apple car is likely in our future.