The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recently granted Apple (AAPL) a patent for a special type of car sunroof system, according to a 9to5Mac report. Apple is believed to be developing a self-driving electric car as it tries to diversify its business, though the company itself has not publicly revealed the project.
Apple’s new patent shows a car sunroof with variable opacity glass, allowing the driver to adjust the sunroof’s transparency.
Apple does not say where it intends to apply the adjustable car sunroof system. But the report notes that the patent corroborates the rumors about the iPhone maker’s secretive car project.
How far along Apple is with its car project is unknown. But the report suggests it may take three to four years before Apple comes out with a car for the market. The company is already reaching out to potential suppliers and has made contact with South Korean battery manufacturers, according to a separate 9to5Mac report. The report pointed out that Apple is seeking custom battery designs and has considered investing in a Korean supplier to expand its production capacity.
While Apple may excite investors looking for EV stocks beyond the likes of Tesla (TSLA) and Lucid (LCID), the company’s car project has experienced its fair share of challenges, including the loss of engineers.
In January, Bank of America Securities analyst Wamsi Mohan reiterated a Buy rating on Apple stock and raised the price target to $215 from $210. Mohan’s new price target suggests 22.27% upside potential.
The analyst notes that Apple’s financials have been resilient, and the company has continued to deliver consistently strong cash flows despite a difficult macro environment.
Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 24 Buys and 5 Holds. The average Apple price target of $192.18 implies 9.29% upside potential to current levels.
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