Apple has reportedly spoken to several Korean manufacturers of EV (electric vehicle) components, according to The Korea Times. A source - named only as "a senior industry executive directly involved with the issue" - has told the newspaper that Korean manufacturers of batteries and other components could be considered for Apple's rumoured car project.
"Apple officials have been in Korea for business talks with its Korean partners in the semiconductor and display sectors. As seen in Apple's smartphone business, the company is seeking business partners in Korea for its EV business," the source told the newspaper.
"Without partnerships with Korean vendors, Apple won't be able to complete its EV business plan. As far as I know, Apple has talked with LG, SK and Hanwha, but the talks are still in the early stages."
Although there remains a lot of negotiation to do before any deals are signed, the source suggests that the most promising talks are those with SK Innovation, a subsidiary of SK Group, which specialises in batteries for electric cars. These were characterised, in contrast to the more preliminary discussions with other firms, as "advanced meetings", placing SK as apparent favourites to secure the contract.
The Apple Car project has been fraught with difficulties establishing working relationships with other companies - a process one analyst described as a dating game - with numerous established car makers getting cold feet after being the subject of rumours. Demanding and secretive, Apple evidently isn't an easy company to work with, and it seems increasingly likely to seek partners among the component supply chain it has leaned on for iPhone manufacture - firms that already know and accept the downsides of being an Apple partner.
Catch up with the latest leaks and rumours in our Apple Car news hub.