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Apple slashes jobs in its self-driving-car division

Apple slashes jobs in its self-driving-car division
Apple says it is still committed to helping build self-driving cars. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Apple Inc. is reducing the size of its workforce assigned to self-driving-car technology as the company reorganizes amid weakening sales of iPhones, its biggest moneymaker.

The tech giant acknowledged the cutbacks in a statement Thursday, without specifying the number of jobs affected. CNBC reported that more than 200 employees were dismissed from Apple's self-driving-car division, known internally as Project Titan.

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Some of the employees who lost their jobs in the division have been reassigned to other parts of the Cupertino, Calif., company, according to Apple.

Despite the reductions, Apple emphasized that it was still committed to helping build self-driving cars, something it has been working on for several years.

So far, though, Apple has lagged behind many of the other technology companies and automakers trying to catch up to the still-nascent field's early leader, Waymo, a Google spinoff still owned by parent company Alphabet Inc. that began its work on autonomous vehicles a decade ago. This week, Waymo announced plans to open a factory in the Detroit area.

“We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever,” the company said.

Apple is reassessing its priorities as it adjusts to waning demand for iPhones, a shift that caused the company to fall shy of its own revenue projections for the quarter that included the crucial holiday shopping season. The company is scheduled to release its earnings for that quarter Tuesday.

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