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Home / Features / This is the Apple Car keynote that we’ll never get to see

This is the Apple Car keynote that we’ll never get to see

Apple Car might have been vrooming great or a wreck, but now we’ll never know, because it’s been crushed and sent to the tech scrapyard in the sky

Apple Car and Lightning cable heading for its underside
Apple Car concept render: LetsGoDigital

Apple Car is dead. Project Titan has been scrapped. There will be no Apple Car keynote, because Apple execs decided CarPlay rather than CarPain is the way forward.

At least that’s what I’m assuming because, to be clear, here in full is everything Apple officially revealed about Project Titan to date:

So bear that in mind when reading about what Apple did or didn’t do, or what it might or might not do with car tech and insights it may or may not currently possess. That said, if Apple really did throw billions at trying to make a car and has now decided not to, that feels like the right call.

Apple needs focus. A car is a distraction. Cars are low profit (not very Apple) and high risk – cars crashing is way worse for your company than, say, personal computers crashing. And you might argue a car is a perverse project to keep alive in a world where Apple has pledged to be carbon neutral six years from now. So: good that Apple isn’t afraid of making big plays. Also good Apple will scrap such projects if they won’t meet the company’s own high expectations.

However, this does mean we won’t get an Apple Car keynote. And that’s a pity, because it would have been spectacular…

The Apple Car keynote that will never be

Magic Mouse
Imagine this, but with WHEELS. Actually, that’d be quite cool.

The near future in a parallel universe.

A packed auditorium. Expectations are high. Event invites were headlined ‘Fasten your seatbelts’ – and said it was time to ‘shift gears’, ‘steer into the future’ and ‘hit the road’. So we all know what’s coming. Yet an hour in, it’s all just new iPads and new Macs.

But then Apple CEO Tim Cook pauses, smiles widely and says those three magic words: one more thing. The audience erupts. This is the moment everyone’s been waiting for. Cook plays them like a (GarageBand) fiddle. “Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products: a widescreen entertainment system, a next-generation connectivity hub, and an intelligent mobility platform,” he says. “Entertainment. Connectivity. Mobility. Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we’re calling it Apple Car. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the car.”

The crowd goes wild. A video plays. An unnecessary number of smoothly panning close ups later, there’s the big reveal: Apple Car. Which looks unnervingly like a Magic Mouse with wheels.

I like driving Apple Car. It’s not quite a Jaguar

Mac Pro
Apple’s first Apple Car concept models were considered a little too boxy.

“And despite what you think, Apple Car does have windows!” SVP Craig Federighi takes over, with his spectacular hair, magnetic charisma and dad jokes. The audience is hypnotised. To the point it ignores Apple inferring it just invented the car and, indeed, personalised transportation as a whole. And that the seats have FineWoven covers and are therefore probably not great for sitting on more than once. And that there’s no steering wheel.

Federighi enthusiastically reveals gestures used to trigger actions: swipe to roll down a window; two thumbs up to display a THANK YOU message on the rear window/screen when someone lets you in at a busy junction; a single middle digit to loudly parp the horn. A strange black blob in the centre of the windscreen is introduced as Apple Car Dynamic Island. The rest is usually a massive TV, because Apple Car drives itself (to select US destinations – other countries “coming soon”).

Despite the audible gasp at the $149,999 starting price, the Apple Car keynote ends to rapturous applause. It’s only post-event that people discover the entry-level spec lacking internal storage for anything beyond a very small bag, the charging port being on the car’s bottom, and the need for a dongle to attach a regular charger.

Naturally, pre-orders nonetheless sell out in seconds. Although everyone agrees the $99 extra charge for the Apple Car Cleaning Cloth is a bit much.

Profile image of Craig Grannell Craig Grannell Contributor


I’m a regular contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv, covering apps, games, Apple kit, Android, Lego, retro gaming and other interesting oddities. I also pen opinion pieces when the editor lets me, getting all serious about accessibility and predicting when sentient AI smart cookware will take over the world, in a terrifying mix of Bake Off and Terminator.

Areas of expertise

Mobile apps and games, Macs, iOS and tvOS devices, Android, retro games, crowdfunding, design, how to fight off an enraged smart saucepan with a massive stick.

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