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Tech giant Apple has snapped up a trio of new web addresses that could represent yet another hint at its anticipated leap into the automotive industry: apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto.

The new ‘top level domain’ suffixes, unique to the more familiar .coms and the like, were made available as part of a huge domain name expansion program launched by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2013.

Apple has long offered technologies for the automotive world, the most recent being its CarPlay software platform that delivers advanced connectivity between a vehicle’s infotainment system and a user’s iPhone.

The company has also been rumoured to be planning a car of its own, however, with talk of an ‘iCar’ stretching back as far as the first iPhone in the mid 2000s.


Above: the vehicle above is believed to be an Apple test ‘mule’, disguising new technology beneath the skin of an old Chrysler Grand Voyager

In more recent years, details of a secret ‘Titan’ project have been reported, pointing to plans for an electric vehicle equipped with advanced driverless technology – the better for occupants to spend their time fiddling with Apple gadgets and services.

It’s also no secret that Apple has gone on a huge recruiting spree, snapping up automotive engineering talent from the likes of Tesla – whose founder Elon Musk has jokingly referred to Apple as a graveyard of staff that couldn’t make it with his company – and failed electric startup Mission Motors, whose CEO last year claimed that its bankruptcy could be blamed in part on Apple poaching its best minds.

The registering of these new web addresses may be the latest hint that Apple will launch its own car (reports suggest a 2019 or 2020 target), however, it’s just as likely that the company is merely securing the domains to keep others from leaping on them.

Of course, at US$2099 a pop, Apple was never in danger of this writer snaffling the domains…

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Registrant Name: Apple Inc.
Registrant Organization: Apple Inc.
Registrant Street: 1 Infinite Loop
Registrant City: Cupertino
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95014
Registrant Country: US