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Apple postpones development of self-driving EV to 2026

Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley explains why Apple is pushing back its self-driving EV until 2026, along with the company loosening its App Store pricing rules.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: We might not see Apple's self-driving electric car until 2026. This is all according to a new report from Bloomberg. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins us now with the latest on that. Hey, Dan.

DAN HOWLEY: Hey, Seana. That's right. This new report on the Apple car, which is being called Project Titan, seems to be both a negative and almost a positive. The negative, obviously, that we're not going to see it until perhaps 2026. The positive being that, according to Mark Gurman, at least, what Apple is doing is pulling back on its ambitious plans to make this a fully self-driving vehicle and instead going to have a traditional steering wheel and pedals and allow it to be driven on surface streets and then drive on its own on the highway.

Now, why is that a good thing? Well, as many automakers have noticed, and perhaps everybody else who watches this has noticed, self-driving cars is really hard. You can't really get to what they call level 5 autonomy where the car just drives itself and you pass out or, I don't watch, a movie while the car, you know, whisks you around. That takes a lot of work and is still going to take years and years and years to happen, regardless of what Tesla says.

And so this is basically Apple saying, look, that's overambitious. If we're going to get something on the road, we have to do it with a steering wheel and pedals and allow people to drive on surface streets, and then they'll be able to have this vehicle drive on its own on the road. Now, the article does mention that there's no design for the car yet. They're still in, you know, very, very early phases, still figuring out what the kind of technologies they'll include will be. But, you know, like I said, it's a positive and negative.

Positive in that they're going to at least eventually have something on the road. Seemingly negative, it's going to take a little bit longer.

- Yeah. And industry-wide, really pumping the brakes there on fully autonomous driving. But Apple also making some big changes to the App Store. What can you tell us about that?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. What they're doing is they're rolling out a number of new options that developers can use as far as pricing goes for their goods. They're having 700 options now for consumers-- sorry-- for developers to offer to consumers as far as pricing goes, and now they're not going to limit these developers to offering things at you know, $1.99. They can be $1. They can be $2. They can go all the way up to $10,000 in as little as less than $1.

So this is important because developers had complained about, you know, among other things with the App Store, Apple's grip on the pricing that they use for some of the items that are sold. For instance, if a company wanted to have a special sale, they might not have been able to do that because the pricing options weren't available through Apple's payment system. So now that they're doing that, it looks as though they're kind of conceding bit by bit to the demands that we're seeing from developers.

And, you know, this also has to do with the potential antitrust that's going on around, obviously, big tech, but more specifically Apple. According to Politico, the DOJ is looking at whether or not they'll file an antitrust suit about this. So, you know, this seems to be Apple recognizing that and taking baby steps to opening up the App Store ever so slightly.