Steve Jobs thought about making an Apple Car back in 2008

Apple's flirtation with the auto industry goes back farther than you might think.

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Blair Hanley Frank

It's getting increasingly hard to ignore the mounting evidence pointing to Apple developing an electric car. Over the past few months, there has been no shortage of stories detailing Apple's growing interest in auto design and manufacturing. Tellingly, Apple in recent months has really ramped up its hiring of auto-industry veterans who bring varied areas of auto expertise to the table. From battery technology to supply chain management, Apple's car team seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

While there are certainly many reasons to scoff at the notion of Apple designing and building an electric car, former Apple executive Tony Fadell recently said in an interview with Bloomberg that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once toyed around with that very idea all the way back in 2008.

Jobs and Fadell, who had collaborated on the iPod and iPhone, swapped ideas about car designs on multiple occasions. "We had a couple of walks," Fadell said in an interview with Bloomberg's Emily Chang. The pair posed hypothetical questions to each other, such as: "If we were to build a car, what would we build? What would a dashboard be? And what would this be? What would seats be? How would you fuel it or power it?"

Jobs, of course, decided to pass up on the idea, opting instead to focus on transforming the iPhone into more of a mainstream product.

"The Detroit auto industry was almost dead," Fadell added. "It was fun to kick those ideas around."

Indeed, this isn't the first time we've heard that Apple executives, as far back as 2008, were prone to "kicking around" the idea of releasing a car. You might recall Phil Schiller stating as much while testifying during Apple's trial with Samsung.

Wired reported at the time:

‬"There were many things that led to the iPhone at Apple," said Schiller. "We were searching for what to do after iPod that would make sense. If we can make the iPod, what else can we do?" Apple employees tossed around ideas like making a camera, a car, and other "crazy stuff," Schiller said.

As for a launch window for Apple's rumored car, Bloomberg reported back in September that Apple, in a best-case scenario, is hoping to enter the electric car market sometime in 2019.

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