During Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about the “Apple Car.”
While Cook offered up the standard “nothing to announce today” response, he did comment that the car industry is “interesting” due to the possibilities presented by new technologies:
“I can’t speak about rumors, but as you know, we look for ways we can improve the experience and the customer’s experience on different sets of products. We’re always looking at new things and the car space is an area where it’s clear there are a lot of technologies that will become available… or will be able to revolutionize the car experience. It’s interesting from that point of view. But certainly nothing to announce today.”
Cook was also queried about his company’s spending on research & development, which has grown quickly in recent quarters. The increase in spending has added fuel to the rumors fire that Apple has some sort of vehicle in the works. Cook responded that the the reason for the increase in R&D spending is that Apple is “confidently investing in the future.”
A number of recent rumors indicate Apple has changed directions a bit with their vehicle project, veering away from plans to build their own electric car, instead changing lanes to focus on building a self-driving software platform.
A July report announced Apple hardware engineer and former executive Bob Mansfield had taken the lead position at the company’s “Project Titan” Apple Car project, amidst rumors that the company’s project had changed direction.