Home Apple to axe 600 jobs after dropping plans for self-driving vehicles

Apple to axe 600 jobs after dropping plans for self-driving vehicles


  • Apple axes 600 jobs as it scraps plans for self-driving cars.
  • The decision comes after discreet efforts to develop electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Focus shifts to AI division amid industry-wide pivot to artificial intelligence.

Apple has axed more than 600 jobs after effectively abandoning its plans for self-driving cars.

The cuts will mostly impact workers at the iPhone maker’s site in California where it was discreetly working on ambitions to build electronic vehicles (EVs), having never publicly acknowledged the project.

Last month, a report indicated Apple would endeavor to shift workers to its artificial intelligence (AI) division but many will now be heading for the exit after the Golden State’s employment department was informed on 28 March that 614 staff will be laid off in May. 

The decision to mothball efforts on the EV market was heralded as a shrewd decision by Ray Wang, the founder and chief executive of Silicon Valley-based consultancy firm Constellation Research. The call came after the tech giant had spent billions on its self-driving car project with a fully developed vehicle still thought to be years away.

Wang told BBC News, “This is a smart and long-awaited decision.”

“The market demand for EVs is not there and AI is where all the action is,” he added.

Apple not immune to industry cuts

Apple has avoided mass staff cuts in recent times, unlike other blue-chip firms that have acted to cull hundreds of thousands of roles since the pandemic.

Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the company did not envisage significant staff reductions.

“I view that as a last resort and, so, mass layoffs are not something that we’re talking about at this moment,” he said.

Times and circumstances change, as evidenced in this development but Apple has not been impacted by cuts in the same way the likes of Amazon have decimated its workforce headcount.

27,000 jobs were lost at Amazon in 2022, continuing through to this year, with Amazon Web Services announcing a fresh round of cuts this week, affecting hundreds of workers.

Elsewhere, Microsoft, eBay and PayPal are said to have ditched an estimated 34,000 positions recently, in a pivot to artificial intelligence as companies revise their resources.

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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