Another Big and Small Things from Apple

Remember the 17” and 12” Apple PowerBook ad featuring Yao Ming and Verne Troyer? The punchline was “the next big and small things from Apple”. More than a decade later, Apple is doing it again – this time with a (possible) electric vehicle (EV) and the Apple Watch.

Big thing first – the electric vehicle. Numerous sources have revealed the company’s target ship date of 2019 for the EV. The project has a nice code name Titan. We did not hear much about it until late 2014. Multiple companies have been associated with this affair – BMW, Tesla and Faraday Future, just to name a few.

The rumor is that the Apple would model its EV on BMW’s i3 electric car. The two parties have good working relationship – for example, BMW integrated iPod into its car audio system back in 2004. However, it was also reported that the new EV would look more like a minivan (makes me think of VW’s electric Budd.e. Anyone else?).

Regarding Tesla, Apple could make good use of Model S (& Co.) technologies for Titan. It has been heard that Apple would plan to buy Tesla, and people even put a $100 billion price tag for it.

As for Faraday Future, it is speculated that the EV startup would be a front for Apple’s project. Faraday Future just released its concept car FFZero1 at CES 2016. The high-profile company could be backed up by Yueting Jia, the founder and CEO of Chinese company LeTV.

Most recently, Steve Zadesky, Apple’s Vice President and the Project Titan’s person in charge, announced that he would leave the company after his 16 years tenure.

After all, nothing specific about the Apple Vehicle has been disclosed for now, but it is pretty exciting to see what kind of a “big” electric moving “thing” Apple can come up with.

The small thing – Apple Watch. Since the debut, almost 7 million of them were estimated to have been shipped. I personally like the smartwatch. It can remind me to stand up from time to time. I can set up a calendar, talk to friends and certainly watch the time, while keep my phone in the pocket.

I am curious about its battery of course. The batteries for wearable electronics are developing into a sizeable market, thanks to fast growth of the electronic products themselves. The 38mm Apple Watch is powered by a 205mAh Li-ion battery (LIB) and for the 42mm one, the battery is 246mAh. The battery of my smartwatch is pretty good for now; 75% of charge can still be there by the end of the day. The official charging time is 1.5 hours to 80% and 2.5 hours to 100%. Some data online suggested an energy density of 450 Wh/L. (Please see more energy density data at Battery Status Tracker on our homepage.)

Talking about batteries for wearable devices, Panasonic takes the approach of pin-shaped (like small cylindrical) LIBs as well. In Oct. 2014, it announced by then the industry’s smallest pin-shaped battery CG-320. The battery has a diameter of only 3.5mm and is 20mm tall. The specific energy was calculated at 81 Wh/kg and the energy density at 253 Wh/L. Panasonic is providing cylindrical 18650 LIBs to Telsa for its EVs.

Multiple sources in China reported that Apple Watch’s battery supplier can be Desay, but on its website there was no information available on smartwatch batteries. Desay should be one of the battery suppliers for iPhone.

Interestingly, Apple may be going to offer 2 limited editions for the Asian market to celebrate 2016 Chinese New Year, featuring a joyful red-colored band. Moreover, Apple Watch 2 should come out this year, probably after the WWDC in (maybe) June.

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