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Apple’s New Robot Ambitions – Can Home Tech Drive Stock to New Highs?

By:
Carolane De Palmas
Published: Apr 4, 2024, 12:03 GMT+00:00

The company might be thinking about developing a new generation of intelligent machines designed to seamlessly integrate into your life.

Apple logo, FX Empire

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As the electric vehicle (EV) market heats up with new players like Xiaomi (1810) joining the race, Apple (AAPL) has thrown a curveball. Following the shuttering of its electric car project, Bloomberg reports that the tech giant is making a strategic shift. Apple appears to be setting its sights on a potentially game-changing frontier: personal robotics for the home.

Personal robotics isn’t just about the cool robots you see in sci-fi movies. The company might be thinking about developing a new generation of intelligent machines designed to seamlessly integrate into your life, tackling everyday tasks within your living space.

Engineers at Apple have been exploring a mobile robot that can follow users around their homes” declared people familiar with the project to Bloomberg.

Think beyond basic chores like smart vacuuming and mopping your floors by navigating obstacles and adjusting cleaning modes for different surfaces. One might imagine a robot that assists with meal prep, chopping vegetables, setting timers, and even suggesting recipes based on your dietary needs. It could also become a companion for your children, engaging them with interactive games, reading stories, or even providing educational help.

Could personal robotics be Apple’s next big thing, propelling its stock price to new highs? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure: the future of smart homes just got a whole lot more interesting, with the new giant joining the effort of other big tech companies in the smart home market like Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), and Samsung (005930).

Apple Stock: Today’s Price & Analysis

Weekly Apple Chart – Source: ActivTrader from the regulated CFD and Forex broker ActivTrades

Apple’s stock has hit a rough patch in 2024. Since January, shares have dipped more than 8.5%, falling short of their record highs set mid December 2023 above $197.50. Despite the recent decline, Apple’s year-over-year performance remains positive, with a gain of around 2.4%.

Why Did Apple Hit the Brakes on Electric Car Dreams

In February 2024, Apple made a significant change to its product development roadmap. The company decided to discontinue its electric vehicle project, codenamed “Titan” internally, which had been in operation since 2014. Apple’s decision to enter the electric vehicle market back then coincided with a period of heightened interest in self-driving technology among major technology companies.

Additionally, analysts believe Apple may have been exploring new avenues for growth as the market for its core products, such as iPhones, were expected to show signs of slowing down. The potential for a revolutionary new product category like a self-driving electric car could have been seen as a way to diversify Apple’s product portfolio and secure future revenue streams.

Despite a decade of development and reportedly over $10 billion in investment, Apple ultimately decided to discontinue Project Titan. The technical challenges of creating a safe and reliable self-driving system proved to be a major hurdle. These challenges encompassed not only sensor technology but also intricate safety protocols and the ability to navigate diverse road conditions effectively among other complexities that presented significant obstacles for Apple’s engineers.

Furthermore, and maybe the most important aspect, the financial burden of developing a revolutionary electric car, particularly one with autonomous capabilities, weighed heavily and became a significant financial drain, potentially impacting resources available for other Apple endeavors.

This combination of technical hurdles and financial strain likely tipped the scales in Apple’s decision to abandon Project Titan. However, Apple has a history of strategic adaptation. Now the company has pivoted towards personal robotics, which suggests a focus on a potentially more lucrative market with a faster path to profitability. Personal robots are likely to offer a quicker return on investment compared to the long-term development cycle inherent in self-driving car technology.

Home Robotics: Apple’s Latest Effort To Expand Into New Product Markets

Apple has consistently pushed boundaries and diversified its product portfolio in recent years. The company’s success extends beyond iconic devices like the iPhone and Mac.

The Apple Watch, a health-oriented smartwatch, established Apple’s presence in the wearables market. It offers a range of features, including fitness tracking, health monitoring (like heart rate and ECG), and communication functionalities (calls and texts) within a sleek and user-friendly design.

Apple’s Vision Pro VR headset is another example of the company’s involvement in cutting-edge technologies. This VR headset contributes to the ongoing development of virtual reality experiences.

Their recently announced “ReaLM” AI system, short for “Reference Resolution As Language Modeling,” hints at their ongoing advancements in artificial intelligence. The company seems to be actively working on improving the natural language processing capabilities of its AI, potentially paving the way for more nuanced and intuitive interactions with future Apple devices and services.

While still in the early stages of development, Apple’s foray into home robotics signifies another step in this diversification strategy. While the project’s final form remains uncertain, it demonstrates Apple’s commitment to catering to the evolving needs of its customers by potentially integrating intelligent robots into our daily lives.

The upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for June 10-14, 2024, could be a pivotal moment for Apple’s home robot project.

This event, known for showcasing Apple’s latest software and hardware advancements, might offer fans a glimpse of the future through early concepts, prototypes, or even design mockups. Additionally, WWDC announcements about software features or tools could provide clues about how Apple plans to integrate these potential robots with existing ecosystems like Siri or HomeKit.

For investors, WWDC could be equally informative. While Apple might not reveal everything, the conference could offer valuable insights into the project’s overall scope. Investors might glean details about the robots’ intended functionalities, target market, and potential launch timelines. This information can be crucial in assessing the potential impact on Apple’s future revenue streams.

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About the Author

Carolane graduated with a Masters in Corporate Finance & Financial Markets and got the AMF Certification (Financial Markets Regulator in France). Afterward, she became an independent trader, investing mostly in European and American stocks/indices.

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