There has been a lot of talk lately about Apple entering the car business. There have been rumors about self driving minivans, an anonymous new car company with a billion dollar manufacturing facility, and Tesla employees hired away. Then there was the meeting with the California DMV to discuss autonomous vehicle regulations.
Now there is additional evidence, whois records for Apple.car, Apple.cars, and Apple.auto that point back to Apple’s corporate headquarters:
Registrant Name: Apple Inc.
Registrant Organization: Apple Inc.
Registrant Street: 1 Infinite Loop
Registrant City: Cupertino
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95014
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4089961010
Registrant Fax: +1.4089741560
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The domains were registered through MarkMonitor, which is a curious choice. Apple has historically used MarkMonitor for domain management, but they switched to CSC in the last couple years. The whois record for Apple.com still points to CSC as a registrar.
Besides the possibility of a forthcoming autonomous car there are a number of other reasons for Apple to register car domains. They have tech relationships with Ferrari, as well as a product called CarPlay that 40 different carmakers have partnered with to roll out across their product lines. Some of those manufacturers include Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, Nissan, and BMW.
The consensus among rumors is that Apple is starting a car company called Faraday because they would be more likely to use new branding that is different from “Apple” or their historic use of the “i” prefix. Google just went through a massive rebranding effort to change the company name to Alphabet. One of the pressing needs was to separate their self-driving car product out from under the “Google” brand.