Apple's self-driving car division hit with mass layoffs

After months of struggling due to low iPhone sales, the tech giant has announced it will be laying off 190 employees from its self-driving car division

28Feb

Apple has decided to strip back its self-driving car division as the tech giant announced it will lay off 190 employees who were working on 'Project Titan' in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

The majority of the affected employees are engineers, including 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers, the letter to the California Employment Development Department disclosed.

Last year, Ming-Chi Kuo, a veteran Apple analyst for TF International Securities, wrote in a speculative note that Apple would launch its self-driving car as early as 2023 stating that "Apple's leading technology advantages would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers' products". However, the company has since been plagued with low iPhone sales, particularly in the APAC region, causing it to cut iPhone production by 10% in January and forcing the tech giant to slash its sales 1Q19 forecast from $93bn to $84bn.

"A sudden and significant shortfall in iPhone revenue is causing a level of distress within Apple that is forcing it to make hard choices," wrote Lynx Equity Strategies in an analyst report last month that speculated the self-driving car division could be shut down.

Apple's self-driving car division was founded in 2014, the same year the company's expansion into Santa Clara and Sunnyvale ramped up.

The layoffs are set to take effect from April 16.

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