Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs seriously considered building an “Apple Car,” as early as 2008, former advisor Tony Fadell told Bloomberg, but dropped the project to focus on the iPhone.
Fadell, who led Apple’s iPod division from 2001 to 2010, says he had a number of conversations with Jobs where they discussed what type of features an Apple-built vehicle would have.
“We had a couple of walks,” Fadell said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. The pair posed hypothetical questions to each other, such as: “If we were to build a car, what would we build? What would a dashboard be? And what would this be? What would seats be? How would you fuel it or power it?”
Fadell says Jobs decided against moving forward on a vehicle project, instead choosing to focus the company’s efforts on the iPhone.
Fadell, who is now CEO at Nest Labs, admitted he does not have first-hand knowledge about Apple’s car building plans, but did note the similarities between cars and smartphones:
“A car has batteries; it has a computer; it has a motor; and it has mechanical structure. If you look at an iPhone, it has all the same things. It even has a motor in it,” said Fadell, who’s now the chief executive officer of Alphabet’s Nest home appliances company. “But the hard stuff is really on the connectivity and how cars could be self-driving.”
Apple has long been rumored to be developing a vehicle, and if they did move forward with such a plan, they would face competition not only from traditional auto makers, but also firms such as Tesla and Google.