And so the articles keep a comin’: Apple is building a car. No, it isn’t. Apple should buy Tesla. No, it shouldn’t. The only way Apple can suddenly catch up to Tesla is by using Tesla’s patents, Tesla’s powertrains and Tesla’s assembly line. In other words, by buying Tesla. But that would limit Apple’s automotive adventure to a single brand — and an unproven one, in many minds. So any in-house Apple car is now — and will remain for a many years — a concept. That’s the automotive industry term for a vehicle that makes the issuing company look good while managing to avoid the tough part. And the tough part, of course, is existence.
Update: Apple is stealing employees from bankrupt A123 Systems, which specializes in Li-ion batteries. This would suggest Apple is cooking up more than just automotive connectivity systems. It might indeed make an actual car, or least provide a design for someone else to assemble. But again, no worries here. It’s hard for Tim Cook to steal Elon’s lunch money when Elon has already gone through the lunch line and is now sitting down and eating his pizza wedge and sipping his chilled juice. Cook, meanwhile, is still shivering outside the cafeteria with his nose pressed against the glass.