Count Steve Jobs among those curious about what an Apple car would look like. In 2008, not too long after the Apple co-founder introduced the iPhone, Jobs was considering the possibilities of a much bigger gadget, Bloomberg reported.
Tony Fadell, then a senior vice president at Apple, remembers talking with Jobs about the potential for an iCar. 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 told Bloomberg. 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, who died in 2011, decided not to move forward at the time. The U.S. auto industry was in deep trouble, and Apple was busy trying to establish the iPhone as a mainstream product. "The Detroit auto industry was almost dead," Fadell said. "It was fun to kick those ideas around."
More recently, Apple has been building a team of hundreds, including engineers and experts in battery and robotics technology, to design a car that could go into production by 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.