Is Apple Back In The EV Game? Tech Giant Reportedly Eyes Rivian Partnership

Zinger Key Points
  • Rivian is scheduled to report Q1 results after the closing bell, while Apple is due to hold its first hardware launch event for the year.
  • Apple ditched its self-driving car project amid its focus on generative AI, Bloomberg reported in late-February.

After ditching its electric-vehicle plans, Apple, Inc. AAPL could be rekindling interest in the segment, if rumors are anything to go by. A report said late Monday that Cupertino was in talks to forge a partnership with Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN.

What Happened: Apple is “assessing the possibility of teaming up with a certain U.S. EV startup, and Rivian is a very likely candidate,” said Digitimes in a paywalled article, 9to5Mac reported.

The rumor’s originator, however, carried scant details and cited speculation among the supply chain.

Apple and Rivian did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment on the rumor.

Given the very preliminary nature of the speculation, the news could be subject to a lot of guesses and conjectures. The two relevant parties have key events coming up on Tuesday. Rivian is scheduled to report its first-quarter results after the market close, with analysts harboring subdued hopes amid the industry-wide downturn and the competition.

Apple, meanwhile, has scheduled the “Let Loose” hardware launch event, the first for the year, at 10 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Rumors suggest the event presentation will be pre-recorded and the company will announce new OLED iPad Pro and iPad Airs. It may also announce a redesigned Magic Keyboard and the third-generation Apple Pencil.

See Also: Best Tech Stocks Right Now

Why It’s Important: The rumor comes after Bloomberg reported in late February that Apple has decided to pull the plug on the self-driving car project, internally codenamed “Project Titan.” This meant that Apple’s decade-long time, efforts, and investment into the project would go down the drain. The rationale was to focus on the more lucrative generative AI opportunity.

Rivian, although a cut above the rest in the EV startup ecosystem, has had its fair share of woes. The company has been piling up losses for each of the EVs it manufactures, production ramp-up has been tough and cash resources have been dwindling.

Despite the fundamental challenges, Rivian has opted to embark on manufacturing its next-generation EVs using the R2 platform.

One wild guess could be a potential CarPlay subscription. Prominent Apple leaker and Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman said in mid-March that Apple has doubled down on its efforts on CarPlay, a technology system that connects an iPhone to a car's infotainment screen.

The concept for the new CarPlay, known as Project IronHeart within Apple, was meant to “take over more screens and a car’s instrument cluster, as well as features like the radio and air conditioning system,” he said. Currently, the interface is focused on allowing a user to operate Apple services and “doesn't handle most of a car's controls,” he added.

Apple ended Monday’s session down 0.91% to $181.71 and Rivian rallied 2.58% before closing at $10.33, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read Next: Rivian Q1 Earnings Preview: Analyst Estimates, R2 Update, Key Production Focus Areas

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