Apple CEO Tim Cook has lately been offering more and more hints that the Apple Car might possibly be a real thing. At the very least, he's fueling speculation that the company is planning a big play in the auto industry. Speaking at today's shareholder meeting, Cook took a break from discussing Apple's rift with the FBI to tease attendees about the possibilities — possibilities that remain several years away, by most accounts. "Do you remember when you were a kid, and Christmas Eve... it was so exciting," Cook said, according to Business Insider. "You weren't sure what was going to be downstairs. Well, it's going to be Christmas Eve for a while."
So Cook is simultaneously building hype — something must be coming in the pipeline — and telling everyone to keep their expectations in check. It's going to be a long time before we know more about Apple's oft-rumored car, like what it looks like or what sets it apart from Tesla and other innovative automakers. Hopefully, Christmas morning won't hold any major disappointments.
In a recent interview with Fortune, Cook wouldn't address car rumors directly, but said "we don’t have to spend large amounts to explore." According to the CEO, Apple becomes "committed" to a project once the company begins spending serious money on tooling and other involved processes. But a hiring spree doesn't seem to qualify. "We explore things with teams of people. And that’s a part of being curious," Cook said.
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