Apple Car rumor claims Korean suppliers are 'at war' over key parts

Apple Car Vanarama concept
(Image credit: Vanarama)

When are we going to see the Apple Car? At this point it’s anyone’s guess, but behind the scenes chatter suggests that Apple is still working on making its first EV a reality. Or, at least, that’s what a new supply chain report from Korea IT News claims.

According to the report, Apple visited South Korea last month, with the goal of meeting companies interested in manufacturing electrical components for the Apple Car. As a result, some companies have formed their own ‘Apple Car task forces’ in response.

Evidently, the Korean parts industry has now “started a war” to be involved with the Apple Car supply chain. Apple is reportedly very interested in sourcing a number of its core parts from Korea, and is expected to make a decision on who it will partner with sometime later this year.

Korea IT News’ report goes so far as to claim Apple is willing to invest in one supplier, so it can better support the company in doubling its production capacity. Obviously, that’s no small feat, but it’s unclear whether this unnamed company took Apple up on its offer.

This report also includes the subject of batteries, despite past reports claiming Apple was in talks with multiple Chinese battery manufacturers. This time it sounds like the company wants to be very hands-on with battery design and manufacturing, something that makes sense given what we’ve heard before.

Apple reportedly hit an impasse with some Chinese battery firms, since it insisted on having Apple Car batteries built within the United States. Likewise, rumors suggest that the company has designed a new monocell battery design, made with different materials than conventional EV batteries, with the goal of extending range and improving overall safety.

However, a source told Korea IT News that companies involved are being incredibly careful about any and all dealings with Apple. They claim any companies caught leaking information may be removed from consideration, which they don’t want. 

That makes sense, since Apple has always taken a very anti-leak stance, even going so far as to reportedly end talks with Hyundai and Kia after news of negotiations leaked to the press.

The Apple car has had a troubled road so far, especially in recent months. Key personnel have left the company to take on positions at more established automakers, and Apple’s early attempts to partner with a more experienced car company have reportedly failed at multiple junctions — in part because those companies don’t want to cede all control of the project to Apple. 

It has gotten to the point where Apple is now rumored to be taking matters into its own hands, in order to try and prevent more delays. However, we still don’t know a tentative Appel Car release date and whether Apple will be able to develop appropriate autonomous capabilities. Not to mention the legal implications or trying to bring Level 4 or Level 5 autonomous vehicles to the public.

We’ll bring you more as we hear it, but in the meantime check out our Apple Car hub for everything we know so far.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.