Apple Investing More R&D Into Electric, Autonomous Vehicles Than iPhone, iPad, & Apple Watch R&D (Combined)

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Apple has spent more money on the research and development of electric, autonomous vehicles in the last few years than it did on the development of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch — combined.

So, needless to say, the company clearly has big plans for future “shared mobility.” With most analysts now predicting that the sector is going to explode in importance over the next decade or so, the company’s bet is an interesting one.

Especially when one considers the fact that the company’s profits have begun to level out (and even drop) in recent times.

Apple R&D investment

Renew Economy provides more:

Even more astonishingly, Apple is outspending the major car manufacturers at a rate of 20:1. The near $5 billion it has spent in the last three years compares to the average spend of $192 million at the top 14 auto makers. It even outranks Tesla by a factor of more than 10:1.

…According to Morgan Stanley, it is a $2.6 trillion market that will emerge by 2030. It bases that calculation on 26% of the 20 trillion miles driven in 2030 are through “shared vehicles” and that this will be worth around US50c/mile. To give that market size some context, this compares to the roughly $800 billion market Apple addresses with its iPhone, iPad, and associated products today.

Morgan Stanley notes that “shared mobility” is the intersection of three disruptive forces — electric, autonomous, and shared vehicles, the need for improved “digital experience in vehicles, and faster technology cycles, which now average 1-2 years, at most, compared to auto design cycles of 5-7 years.

Owing to this currently high level of investment, and the company’s head start in research and development, Morgan Stanley is predicting that Apple “could gain at least 16% of the shared mobility market, similar to the company’s share in smartphones today.”

“This translates to over $400 billion of revenue and $16 earnings per share for Apple in 2030 — more than the rest of Apple generates today ($234 billion/$9.22 EPS in FY15). Which may explain why Apple is betting the house on new car technology.”

So, a huge opportunity… But one that’s still up in the air for the next few years, at the least.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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