Apple brand electric car to hit streets in 2019

The rumors are coming true: Apple — the company, not the fruit — is working on an electric car that is reported to be released in 2019. The company that can shape the tech world at will has found another market to invade.

Is Apple finally reaching too far? The auto industry is subject to strict regulations, and entire supply and production lines would need to be created in order to roll out tens of thousands of cars per year. To accomplish such a task and become a major market player in only four years would require extensive planning, abundance of resources and a marketable brand. Enter Apple.

Safe bets about the Apple car include that it will be electric, will have Siri built in and will be able to connect with other Apple devices. Recent news also indicates that Apple is sinking large amounts of money into research about making the car autonomous.

None of these features would be new: Google, Tesla and Uber have already invested in self-driving cars, with some prototypes already on the roads. Many manufacturers already have voice assistants in place in their newer models. Apple’s own CarPlay system is becoming widespread.

A quick history lesson, however, shows never to count Apple out. Apple has consistently been able to infiltrate and become a leading player in many markets, revolutionizing the worlds of music players, laptops and cellphones. The company name itself now wields unprecedented power in the tech market, as the demand for the new iPhone 6S, released this September, would suggest.

In the past, Apple has been accused of charging more for their products than their competitors do for products with similar specifications. Loyalists argue that Apple products have a superior interface and aesthetic quality, while detractors hold this to be a matter of opinion and credit Apple’s success to consumers with blind loyalty to the Apple name.

The new Apple car is rumored to have a price tag of $55,000, while most electric cars on the market today cost around $30,000. In order to perform a just comparison, additional factors must be accounted for: with self-driving technology adding an estimated $10,000 in cost and inflation averaging 2 percent each year, the market cost of a non-Apple autonomous car in 2019 would be roughly $43,300, making the Apple car 27 percent more expensive.

Apple products sell because of their user-friendly interface, sleek design, excellence of core functionality and loyal customer base. A similar strategy may also yield success with selling a car; after all, Apple wouldn’t try if they didn’t think it would likely be profitable in the long run.

By releasing their plans to develop a car, Apple may be helping to drive innovation in the auto industry. Established auto companies will strive to innovate at a faster pace in the next four years in order to not be beaten out by the Apple car when it is released. By 2019, the Apple car may sell not because of its innovations but because of its brand name and sleekness.

If you were initially taken aback by the idea of an Apple car, consider the possibilities. Jobs will be created as Apple prepares for production, and the advent of self-driving cars will lead to a safer future on the roadways. 2019 is on its way.