Some of the Apple Car development team employees recently visited South Korea on a secret business trip. As a part of the trip, the employees met with various local South Korean companies like SK Group, LG Electronics, etc., to discuss various Apple Car business opportunities.
The report from DigiTimes claims that Apple is looking for partners for its Apple Car supply chain. Another report from The Korea Times citing a senior executive says that “Apple won’t be able to complete its EV business plan” without partnering with Korean vendors.
“Apple officials have been in Korea for business talks with its Korean partners in the semiconductor and display sectors. As seen in Apple’s smartphone business, the company is seeking business partners in Korea for its EV business,” a senior industry executive directly involved with the issue told The Korea Times.
Both reports indicate Apple held “advanced” meetings with SK Group and LG Electronics subsidiaries. Apple is seemingly interested in South Korean vendors as it plans to use lithium iron phosphate batteries in the Apple Car.
Chinese suppliers like CATL and BYD are the leader in producing lithium iron phosphate batteries. However, Apple is likely considering other options due to the ongoing US-China trade war. CATL and BYD dominate the EV battery market with a market share of 47 percent.
Apple Car rumors have been swirling around aplenty since the starting of this year. Initial rumors suggested Apple partnering with Hyundai-Kia, with the latter building a factory in the US for producing the batteries that will be used inside the Apple Car. However, the talks between the two companies soon fell through. Apple seemingly even talked with various Japanese automakers, but the talks did not pan out.
A report from June claimed Apple was in talks with Chinese battery suppliers for manufacturing the Apple Car battery. Reportedly, the company wants the batteries to be manufactured in the US, which is a hindrance for many suppliers. Whatever the case might be, the Apple Car is still at least half a decade away. So, there will be a lot of rumors and unconfirmed reports that will make their way to the internet until then.[Via Korea Times, DigiTimes]