But people familiar with the company said the background of the people Apple is hiring — including automotive designers and vehicle dynamics engineers — and the seniority of the executives involved suggest a car could be in the works.
“Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” said one person who has worked closely with Apple for many years, referring to Apple’s infotainment system. “Today I think it’s a car.”
Apple declined to comment.
Mr Cook has made it clear that the automotive industry is an area in which he feels Apple can make a greater impact. At a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco this week, he said CarPlay was one of three new technology platforms Apple launched last year that are “key to our future”, alongside HealthKit and HomeKit.
“We’ve taken iOS and extended it into your car, into your home, into your health,” Mr Cook said. “All of these are really critical parts of your life and none of us want to have different platforms in different parts of our lives.”