In the last couple of months, the negativity surrounding Apple (AAPL) has gone up significantly. The reports about the company’s weakening iPhone sales including in China along with fears of tariffs on its Chinese imported devices have taken a heavy toll on investors’ sentiments. This negativity along with the broader market sell-off (QQQ) (VTI) has caused a steep drop in Apple stock lately. As of December 18, the stock has seen 27.4% value erosion.
The possibility of an Apple car
Apple’s ability and interest in the AI (artificial intelligence) area is no more a secret now. In the last couple of years, a lot has been said in the media about the possibility of Apple secretly working on a self-driving car project. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview with Bloomberg said that Apple is “focusing on autonomous systems.” Cook added that “it’s a core technology that we view as very important” and referred to Apple’s work in the area as “the mother of all AI projects.”
In its latest move, which could be another hint in this direction, Apple has hired a former Tesla (TSLA) senior manager, Andrew Kim. According to Kim’s LinkedIn account page, he was with Tesla for two years from December 2016 to November 2018. The page suggests that Kim worked on the design of nearly all Tesla’s vehicles including “Model 3, Model S, X, Semi truck, Roadster V2, and its upcoming Model Y.”
Before joining Tesla, Kim worked with Microsoft (MSFT) as a senior designer on projects including Xbox One S, HoloLens, Windows 10, and Band V2 for more than three years.
Nonetheless, Apple is yet to officially reveal its timeline and exact plans in the area of self-driving cars. For the near term, investors might remain focused on its iPhone sales trends and new developments in the US-China trade relations.