Technology

What's Up With Apple: Apple Car Has a Manufacturer, and More

A Korean technology firm and a Canadian auto parts supplier have reportedly created a joint venture to manufacture the much-rumored electric vehicle (EV) from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), coming someday to a driveway near you.

According to an exclusive report in the Korean Times, the joint venture between tech products maker LG Electronics and Magna International Inc. (NYSE: MGA) is “very near” signing a contract with Apple to build the Cupertino giant’s EV. The joint venture has chosen the snappy name LG Magna e-Powertrain.

According to Korea Times’s sources, LG Magna e-Powertrain will build Apple Car’s initial production as the company “[intends] to use its first-generation EVs as an opportunity to evaluate their marketability.” Because units of LG are already part of Apple’s supply chain, the LG segments “are qualified to guarantee production yields and faster delivery of parts needed for Apple EVs.” LG has been a supplier of motors, battery packs and other EV components to both Tesla and GM.

Magna International already has parts production contracts with some 45 automakers including Toyota, BMW, Honda, and Fisker. Apple veteran Tony Fadell, acknowledged as the creator of the iPod, is a member of Magna’s technology council, as is former Ford CEO Mark Fields.

LG has not commented, probably because the last rumor about a Korean builder for the Apple Car resulted in the end of negotiations between Apple and Hyundai-Kia on a rather sour note.

Korea Times reports that LG Magna e-Powertrain is valued at $1 billion and “will be assigned to manufacture e-motors, inverters and onboard chargers.” LG will own 51% of the joint venture and Magna the rest, with the deal expected to close in July.

The report also claims that a prototype of the Apple Car is expected by 2024.

The Apple event presumably leaked by a wayward Siri voice assistant has been confirmed by Apple. The virtual event will take place on April 20 at 10 a.m. PT. According to MacRumors, Apple could announce “[u]pdated iPad Pro models, a new low-cost iPad, a new iPad mini, refreshed iMacs, and the long-awaited AirTags.”

Finally, Apple is asking a judge in New Hampshire federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against the company claiming that Apple rejected a coronavirus tracking app “solely to keep its contact tracing monopoly,” according to a report at AppleInsider. In its motion for dismissal, Apple said the “case is borne of a developer’s dissatisfaction with Apple’s lawful efforts to ensure the App Store was a place where consumers could find trustworthy and reliable coronavirus-related apps.” The case, Apple claims, “exhibit[s] a cavalier disregard for the law and facts, and border on the frivolous.”