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Apple Forms Secret Team to Experiment With Electric Cars - Report

Several hundred Apple employees reportedly working on project "Titan," Apple's first stab at the automotive business.

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A rendering of Apple's new
A rendering of Apple's new "spaceship" headquarters

First there were Apple computers. Then iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Then the Apple Watch. So what's next for the technology giant? Electric cars, according to a new story from The Wall Street Journal.

The publication, which also recently broke the news that Nintendo and Netflix are maybe working together on Legend of Zelda TV show, reports that Apple has "several hundred" people working in secret to create a rival to Elon Musk's Tesla Motors.

The Apple-branded electric car is reportedly code-named "Titan." The initial design of this car is supposedly similar to that of a minivan, though no images or further details were shared. As you might have expected, Apple declined to comment.

WSJ notes that Apple could choose to abandon its car-making initiative, and points out that it is not uncommon for Apple or its competitors to prototype an idea that never sees a commercial release. However, sources told the WSJ that the size of Apple's electric car team and the seniority of the staff suggest that the company is indeed serious.

Apple management has even flown to Austria to visit with contract manufacturers for high-end cars, the report explains.

If Apple is indeed working on its own electric car, it won't be the first technology giant to enter that space. After all, Google has been experimenting with self-driving cars for years, and has even given live demonstrations to press. Sources told the WSJ that a self-driving car is not part of Apple's current automotive plans.

Apple CEO Tim Cook greenlit the car plan about a year ago, a source said, adding that the team is working in secret from a private location a few miles outside of Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Products coming out of Apple have transformed the technology and media landscape over the past decade. The iPod and iTunes spurred a shift towards digital distribution for music, while the iPhone made smartphones ubiquitous. Apple plans to release the Apple Watch, its first-ever wearable device, in April.

“There are products that we're working on that no one knows about," Cook told CBS News anchor Charlie Rose in September. “That haven't been rumored about yet."

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