With recent reports suggesting the Cupertino-based firm has designs on entering the automotive space, A123, a specialist electric vehicle battery manufacturer, has filed a lawsuit against Apple over job poaching (via Reuters).
According to A123, Apple has unlawfully poached a number of top-level engineers in order to build its own large-scale battery division.
Add to this recent reports that Tesla staff had been headhunted by the Apple Watch maker, and the Apple Car rumours have hit fever pitch.
“Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123,” the lawsuit suggests: “
Although the Lithium-Ion technology A123 is renowned for is similar to the tech used in smartphone and laptop batteries, the manufacturer specialises in big batteries destined for cars and machinery.
Further hinting at Apple’s vehicular plans, the claim adds: "It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is systematically hiring away A123’s high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs at A123.
"They are doing so in an effort to support Apple’s apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not identical to A123’s, in competition with A123.”
As you might expect, Apple has yet to shed any formal light on such speculation.
Related: iPhone 6S rumours
Apple car rumours have ramped up in recent weeks with claimed insiders having reported “dozens of Apple employees, led by experienced managers from its iPhone unit” are currently conducting car-based research at a secret lab.
It has been claimed Apple’s mooted entrant to the automotive market will look to the future, acting as an automated, driverless electric car.
We will of course bring you more details on the rumoured Apple car as, and when, we have them.