If Apple releases an electric vehicle by 2025, it could sell 1.5 million cars by 2030, investment firm Bernstein said.
Bernstein said its “aggressive forecast” would add roughly $75 billion in revenue and effectively double Apple’s overall growth rate.
“A successful EV launch from Apple would add a formidable, well-capitalized competitor to the automotive industry,” analysts led by Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note Tuesday.
The technology company has yet to confirm its vehicle plans, but its car initiative known as Project Titan reportedly has been in the works for years.
Apple in 2017 secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California using already-built cars and proprietary technology. Hyundai-Kia said earlier this year it was in talks with Apple to manufacture an autonomous electric vehicle before walking its comments back and confirming it was no longer in discussions. Apple in June hired a BMW veteran with extensive experience with developing electric cars.
Bernstein sizes the auto market at more than $2 trillion and says Apple’s interest in the sector “makes sense.”
“Given its revenue base, few addressable markets are sizeable enough to impact Apple’s financials, but the auto sector offers a uniquely large, addressable consumer market,” the note said.
The firm compared Apple’s potential entrance into the auto sector with its arrival in the smartphone market years ago with the iPhone. Incumbent phone-makers like Nokia and Blackberry were most hurt, while newer vendors like Samsung and HTC actually benefited, Bernstein said.
In the same vein, Bernstein views an Apple car as a bigger threat to legacy auto manufacturers than newer players like Tesla, which has been called “the Apple of the automotive industry.”
The firm expects Apple to reinvent cars if it launches an auto product, just as it reinvented the smartphone. Potential differentiators include all-electric power, a high level of autonomous capability and a completely redesigned interior, Bernsteins speculated.
To be sure, Bernstein does not believe an Apple car is certain, citing the company’s scrapped plans to sell a TV set.
“Apple is highly selective in bringing new products to market,” the firm said. “Many [research and development] projects remain R&D projects.”