From iPhones, iPods and iPads, technology company Apple appears to be shifting gears to cars.
Breaking news on Apple's open secret car project, 9TO5Mac recently reported on Apple's new hires to stock up on its Product Realization Lab, where it prototypes most of its products, which will soon include cars.
The new hires include David Masiukiewicz from Tesla and Kervin Harvey from Andretti Autosport. Apple and Tesla regularly poach employees from each other, but Apple's hiring of Chris Porritt, Tesla's former VP of Vehicle Engineering, could be a signal of Apple's resolute realization of a car venture.
Masiukiewicz is a former CNC programmer for R&D hardware prototyping at Tesla and has machining experience in chassis, suspension and powertrain parts. He left Tesla in March and assumed a "senior model maker" position at Apple this April, according to his LinkedIn profile. The profile does not describe what he might be creating at Apple.
On his Facebook account, Masiukiewicz cited his motivation for transferring from Tesla to Apple by saying, "Apple provided me with many compelling reasons to come work with them."
Harvey, another hire, left his role as CNC Machine Shop Supervisor at Andretti Autosport to join Apple in August. Andretti Autosport is known for playing an active role in professional racing leagues.
9TO5Mac sources presume that both Masiukiewicz and Harvey are part of a working group prototyping car parts for Apple's electric car rumored to launch in 2019 or 2020.
A Big Catch For Apple?
In January, news of the departure of Steve Zadesky, said to have been in charge of Apple's car project called Project Titan, broke in a Wall Street Journal report. The reason for the departure was personal.
Zadesky was a 16-year Apple employee who headed the iPod and iPhone teams before taking over the electric car project in 2014. The WSJ report claimed that Project Titan was encountering setbacks because Apple was allegedly imposing unrealistic deadlines.
Earlier this week, Apple has reportedly hitched Chris Porritt as a possible replacement of Zadesky for its not-so-secret Project Titan. AppleInsider reports that his new official title "Special Projects Group PD Administrator" was deliberately coined to maintain the "secrecy" of the car project.
Porritt will be one of the most senior car experts at Apple and some high-level engineers will be working under him.
At Tesla, he was the man behind the Models S, X and 3, and at Aston Martin, he led the design of the One-77 and the iconic DB9.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is unperturbed by Porritt and other Tesla employees' jump to Apple. "They have hired people we've fired. We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla Graveyard," he said.
Photo: John Lee Clark | Flickr