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posted by mattie_p on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-all-you-have-is-$160-billion dept.

AudioGuy writes:

"Adrian Perica is a very busy man. Over the past 18 months, the mergers and acquisitions chief at Apple has been scouring the globe looking for deals, snatching up everything from search engines and data analytics to mapping software and motion tracking chips.

A source tells The Chronicle that Perica met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring at around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant.

The newspaper has also learned that Apple is heavily exploring medical devices, specifically sensor technology that can help predict heart attacks. Led by Tomlinson Holman, a renowned audio engineer who invented THX and 10.2 surround sound, Apple is exploring ways to predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries.

Taken together, Apple's potential forays into automobiles and medical devices, two industries worlds away from consumer electronics, underscore the company's deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads and take big risks.

Good grief. Is the 'iTesla next in the 'i' line?"

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by WildWombat on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:21PM

    by WildWombat (1428) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:21PM (#2807)

    I don't really see Apple being able to bring anything to the table in the automotive industry. There really isn't much overlap between the skill set that Apple has and the set of skills needed in the auto industry. The only place that Apple could really bring something to the table would be in the display/gps/radio/entertainment system, which is really just a sliver of what it takes to build a modern car on an industrial scale. If Apple really wants to get into that space I think they'd be better off doing so as a supplier, sort of the way some upscale cars market their 'premium' Bose sound systems. Eg, the new Lexus FU-4000 now with built in Apple Navigation and Entertainment system... Even there though I don't know if the return would be really worth the investment.

    Medical sensor devices though I can sort of see. Medical devices are expensive as hell to start with so nice fat margins. The health sensor type devices they seem to be looking at would integrate well with the iPhone and iWatch and could lock more people into their device ecosystem. Apple also has the sort of talent necessary to do a good job, both in design and production, of these sorts of devices. I'd expect it could work out for them rather nicely.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:40PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:40PM (#2886)

    Product orientation is one way to look at it, but I'm even more mystified by biz structure.

    So a place that designs disposable goods and has the Chinese build them is going to take over a durable goods manufacturing plant full of robots?

    It would be like watching Walmart pivot into aerospace turbopump manufacturing. Yeah that'll fit right in. McNuggets, space shuttle main engine primary fuel turbopumps, and happy meals.

    I agree with you totally on the med-ish devices. Why the fitbit isn't already the iFitbit and its glossy little scale too, is a mystery to me.

    • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Couuard on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:53AM

      by Anonymous Couuard (797) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:53AM (#3180) Journal

      > Walmart ... McNuggets,.... happy meals.
      I think your analogy just hit a piece of debris in the middle of the road and burst in to flames.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PapayaSF on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:45PM

    by PapayaSF (1183) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:45PM (#2891)

    This, thank you. Cars are a mature technology, and it'll be a long time before electric cars are the sort of mass-market product Apple would even consider producing. Talks with Tesla are probably about iOS integration and maybe battery tech, but beyond that it's just silly speculation.

    But medical devices are a different story. Apple can leverage their strengths, cutting-edge technology, and abilities to sell lots of things that cost 1-4 figures (not a few things that cost nearly six figures), and disrupt another industry.