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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Apr 5, 2024

Apple Cuts 600 Jobs as Car Project Abruptly Terminates

Apple's Project Titan Car program was introduced in late 2014. Just 10 years later, on February 27, 2024, the company notified its employees that the project was being cancelled. Following the news, it was claimed that certain Project Titan employees would be reassigned to work on Apple's AI initiatives and other relevant divisions. Nonetheless, in March, Apple formally ceased all developments on the Apple Car. 

At that point, the project's 2,000 or so employees were told it was coming to an end and that 30% of them would be laid off. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that among the jobs eliminated are those of product design engineers, hardware engineers, and machine shop managers. This suggests that, at least initially, the layoffs will probably have a significant effect on Apple's capacity to develop hardware

Photo by Mina Rad on Unsplash

Apple filed a notice with the state of California, signalling its intention to permanently lay off over 600 employees. This move comes in accordance with California law (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), which mandates that employers provide a 60-day notice prior to any mass layoff event. This decision marks the company's first significant round of job cuts since the COVID pandemic.

For other employees, Apple provided a 90-day period to apply for other open positions elsewhere in the company. This change, though, might not have been easy for everyone. Apple had hired car designers and hardware engineers specifically for the Apple Car project, and their specialized skill set may not be transferable to other projects within Apple.

The affected employees were informed on March 28th that they would be laid off, effective May 27th. They were located at eight different sites in Santa Clara, approximately 45 miles south of San Francisco. Some of these employees were part of a team working on developing next-generation screen technology, including in-house microLED displays. However, development on these advanced displays, initially planned for use in the Apple Watch and potentially other Apple devices, has now ceased. It is likely that some of the layoffs are related to this decision. The termination of these two significant projects indicates a shift in Apple's focus and has led to a substantial reduction in its California workforce.

This wave of layoffs at Apple follows similar patterns by other major tech companies. Amazon announced layoffs at its cloud computing business, AWS, earlier this week. Significant job cuts have also been announced recently by a number of other tech companies, including Snap, Cisco, Sony, and Electronic Arts. This pattern highlights the difficulties the tech sector is facing as it moves through a phase of slower growth and a greater emphasis on efficiency.

As of now, Apple has not made any public statements regarding the layoffs, which is not entirely surprising given that the company never officially acknowledged its car project.

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