The Macalope loves a good Apple rumor. He eats them up like alfalfa. They're not as nourishing, of course, but they have way fewer calories. What he can't stand is the opining about how these things that don't even exist yet are just another sign of Apple's perpetual state of imagined fail.

Writing for The Boston Herald, Jessica Van Sack warns that "Apple might want to put iCar idea into reverse" (tip o' the antlers to Sean)

Yay! Five years of car puns!

[sob]

If Apple has its way, legions of fans who once clamored and camped out for first crack at the next iDevice will turn their obsession toward something much, much more expensive: the iCar.

iDevices! iCars! They use "i" in some of their product names! iGet it already!

Nothing illustrates the incredible hubris of Apple better than its purported plans to become an overnight automaker.

Hey, the Macalope doesn't know if Apple's really working on a car or not (neither does Van Sack, not that that's going to stop this cavalcade of tropes from flying down the mountain at breakneck speed). But the fact that you could have written the exact same sentence in 2001 about the music business or in 2007 about the smartphone business might be a sign that you're being overly dismissive.

On the other hand, maybe it's meant as a compliment. It does take a healthy dose of self-confidence to reinvent entire industries.

And this move comes at a time when competition could not be more fierce.

In the auto industry? Try telling that to the ghost of Preston Tucker.

Apple's capricious foray into automobiles is made possible by the dangerous combination of $170 billion in cash and investors for whom no amount of year-over-year profit increase will ever be enough. They'd sooner see Apple run into the ground than accept the incredibly successful status quo of consumer electronics.

Because that's what would happen if Apple tried to make a car which is a thing built of magic and not any expertise that is comprehensible by mortals. Why, one would have a better chance of coming up with flubber or a teleportation machine or a phone that makes calls from anywhere, wait, not that last one.

This is the position the Macalope has been put in by this piece: Defending something he doesn't even think the company is probably doing. While it is sometimes true that where there's smoke, there's fire, it's also true that many times it turns out to be just a smoke-making machine, a smoke monster or some hipsters what with their vaping and legalized marijuana and such.

These headaches are needless, too. Apple doesn't have to manufacture vehicles to be in the auto business. Nearly every automaker on the planet would be open to licensing Apple technology.

Would they? Then why is Toyota punting on CarPlay? Personally, the horny one thinks this is probably what Apple is actually doing, continuing to develop CarPlay by expanding its features into more functionality. But by all means let's treat them making a bespoke Apple Car as a fait accompli because then we can get back to flipping all the tables about it.

That is unless Apple's top brass has lost confidence in its current product pipeline and is in desperate need of a new direction.

Oh, that's probably what it is. That certainly sounds like them, doesn't it? After all, what reason could they have to be confident?