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Apple Confirms Rumored Layoffs At Its Self-Driving Car Division Project Titan

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Rumors of layoffs at Apple's autonomous vehicle program started circulating in late January. According to reports at that time, the Cupertino company is letting go of over 200 employees from Project Titan as a move to revamp the entire team.

Layoffs Confirmed

In a letter sent to the California Employment Development Department, Apple detailed the layoffs, which is set to take effect on April 16. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr also confirmed that the letter included the layoffs that was rumored in January.

The company will dismiss 190 employees in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, California, which include 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers, and 22 software engineers.

Apple senior employee relations consultant Pam Oyanagi said that the layoffs are expected to be permanent.

"All affected employees have been notified of their separation dates and that their separation from employment will be permanent," Oyanagi said in the letter.

Part Of Restructuring

CNBC reported the imminent layoffs last month, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple tapped Doug Field, Tesla engineering VP, in August 2018 to lead the Project Titan, and according to the report, the layoffs were seen internally as part of a move to restructure the self-driving car division under Field's relatively new management.

During that time, a spokesperson said that affected employees will be moved to other projects.

"As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple," the spokesperson told CNBC.

Lately, Apple has been seeing a decrease in iPhone sales and revenues, and the layoffs could be an after-effect of the slowdown.

Even China, one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world, practically ignored iPhone, forcing resellers in the country to sell units at a discounted price.

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