Apple Decides to Scrap Car Production: A Look at the Company’s Failed Endeavors

The company did it with the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch and, most recently, with its AirPods (the jury is still out on Vision Pro). Prior to Project Titan, there have been several Apple efforts that failed to see the light of day. Like Project Titan, Apple never publicly disclosed its existence before it was reportedly scrapped years back. However, Apple scrapped it and delivered MessagePad, a smaller version of the MessageSlate prototype, later in the year. Well before the iPhone, Apple tested a “telephone Mac” codenamed W.A.L.T.

Apple Scraps Car Project: Explores New Territory

In an unexpected move, tech giant Apple has announced the cancellation of its highly-anticipated autonomous electric car project. Instead, the company is turning its attention towards the flourishing world of generative AI. The now-abandoned car venture was once thought to be a major competitor to other industry leaders such as Tesla and Ford, with the recruitment of top executives from these companies. Unfortunately, the end of the project has resulted in job losses for some employees, while others have transitioned to different divisions within Apple.

Project Titan: A Road to Success or a Path to Failure?

Codenamed “Project Titan,” this venture had been in development since 2014. With Apple’s track record of disrupting various markets – from the iPod to the iPhone to the Apple Watch – it seemed like a surefire success. However, as we now know, not every project turns out as planned. In fact, prior to Project Titan, there were several other ambitious Apple projects that never made it to the market.

Here are some notable examples of Apple’s failed endeavors:

  • AirPower

    Not all of Apple’s failures are in the distant past. In fact, one of its most recent letdowns is the wireless charging mat, AirPower. First announced in 2017, this device was meant to charge up to three devices simultaneously using the Qi standard. However, in 2019, the project was officially scrapped due to Apple’s high standards not being met. It was replaced by the MagSafe Duo in 2020, which can only charge up to two devices at once.

  • Television

    Another long-rumored project that never came to fruition was Apple’s television (not to be confused with Apple TV). Back in 2011, there was much anticipation for a full-fledged ultra-high-definition TV set from the company, but it never materialized. Much like Project Titan, Apple never acknowledged its existence before reportedly shelving it.

  • Vademecum

    Did you know that Apple had a prototype for a tablet more than 15 years before the first iPad was ever released? In 1994, early images of this project, codenamed Vademecum, were leaked, showcasing features like a stylus and built-in camera. However, the project was ultimately canceled, with former Apple executive Dan Russell stating that there was simply no market for a tablet computer at that time.

  • MessageSlate

    Apple’s failed attempts at designing a tablet didn’t stop with Vademecum. Around the same time, the company was also working on a Newton OS-based project called MessageSlate (codenamed Senior). A trademark application for this device appeared in 1993, but it was later scrapped in favor of the MessagePad, a smaller version of the MessageSlate prototype.

  • W.A.L.T.

    Years before the iPhone, Apple was already exploring the idea of a “telephone Mac” through a project called W.A.L.T. With a touchscreen panel and stylus support, this device boasted features like fax and caller ID. Some units even surfaced on eBay for auction before the project was ultimately axed, never being publicly discussed by Apple.

  • PenLite

    In 1992, Apple was also working on another tablet called PenLite. This device, based on System 7.1, would have a stylus and a 25MHz Motorola processor. However, it was ultimately scrapped, with reports stating that the lack of a built-in camera was a major factor. Like the Vademecum, Apple deemed that the market was not yet ready for this type of technology.

Apple is Not Immune to Failure

Although Apple is known for its groundbreaking innovations, it’s important to remember that even the most successful companies experience failures. Whether it’s a project that never launches or a product that doesn’t meet expectations, it’s all part of the journey towards success. And with Apple’s continued exploration of new territories, who knows what groundbreaking developments they have in store for the future.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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