Even Steve Jobs had thoughts on what an Apple-built electric vehicle would look like. During an interview with Bloomberg published Wednesday, Nest CEO Tony Fadell revealed that the Apple co-founder had considered how the company could build its own Apple Car.
It was in 2008, shortly after the launch of the iPhone, that Jobs and Fadell, co-creators of the iPod and iPhone, had a few conversations over the car and what they would put inside it and what it would look like.
But it was something that Jobs chose not to pursue, mainly because he wanted to focus on what would become the bread and butter of the company — the iPhone. According to Fadell, Apple didn’t move forward with a number of ideas, such as turning the iPod into a video camera or launching a physical Apple television set. Apple experimented with the latter but ultimately shelved it after nearly a decade of research.
Apple even considered the idea before Fadell’s and Jobs’ conversations, according to a 2012 court testimony by Apple senior vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller. “We were searching for what to do after iPod that would make sense,” he said according to Wired. “If we can make the iPod, what else can we do?” Apple employees tossed around ideas like making a camera, a car and other crazy stuff.”
The car may not have been top priority for Apple back then, but in recent months it has significantly ramped up its efforts in the vehicle space with hundreds of car experts working on “Project Titan,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Some have come from traditional automakers such as Ford. But Apple has also recruited a number of employees from electric carmaker, Tesla Motors.
The iPhone maker may not have any experience with mass-producing cars, but in many ways the iPhone and car are similar, Fadell told Bloomberg. “A car has batteries, it has a computer, it has a motor and it has a mechanical structure,” he said. “If you look at an iPhone, it has all the same things — it even has motor in it.” While there’s plenty of talk surrounding an Apple Car, it isn’t expected to launch until 2019.