Apple said to have considered buying Tesla, working on tech to predict heart attacks

By , Feb 16, 2014

File photo of the interior of the Tesla Model S at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit

As Apple continues to seek growth outside of smartphone and tablet markets, we’ve heard various rumors speculating on what areas the company could enter next. Automotive and medical industries have been popular answers as of late, and today a report added weight to those theories.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Apple has been exploring both cars and medical devices to reignite growth, and the scoop is filled with interesting tidbits. For example, the outlet claims Apple execs met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to discuss a potential buyout…

The Chronicle’s Thomas Lee and David R. Baker report:

“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. Such a buying spree has ignited fierce speculation in tech circles and on Wall Street about Apple’s future ambitions, especially as smartphone and tablet sales start to slow. Most of that speculation has centered on wearable technology or perhaps a souped-up upgrade of Apple TV.

But Apple is thinking bigger. Much bigger.

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

The outlet goes on to quote sources saying that Perica, and likely Tim Cook, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring. It’s possible that the two sides were discussing in-vehicle integration of iOS, but that wouldn’t explain why Apple’s chief of mergers and acquisitions was there.

On an unrelated note, the report also claims that Apple’s deeply interested in medical device technology—much like the stuff we’ve been hearing with the iWatch. One particularly interesting project, led by former THX’er Tomlinson Holman, involves using audio sensors to predict heart attacks.

“Holman’s role in Apple’s medical ambitions is particularly intriguing because of his pioneering audio work in movies. As corporate technical director at Lucasfilm, Holman developed revolutionary THX technology that consistently reproduces high-quality sound in movie theaters and homes that most closely matches the original audio mix of films. [...]

But under Holman, Apple is exploring ways to measure noise “turbulence” as it applies to blood flow. The company wants to develop software and sensors that can predict heart attacks by identifying the sound blood makes as it tries to move through an artery clogged with plaque, the source said.”

While both projects sound incredibly ambitious for Apple, who has recently come under fire for a “lack of innovation,” they aren’t far-fetched. Apple’s recent hiring spree consists of scientists and medical experts working on an unknown device, and it’s on the verge of launching ‘iOS in the Car.’

I think it’s quite clear that Apple is very interested in both of these areas, and I for one can’t wait to see what comes of these interests.

What do you make of all of this?

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  • Framboogle

    If Apple builds a car… Will it have Windows?

    • Jonathan

      Nah, screens will be there with cameras on the outside to make it look like WIndows.

    • Theodore Horne

      Nah because Microsoft will take apple to Court and there will be another Patent war.

    • redsymphony

      Lmfaooooooo

    • bigzjoseph

      nah It’s gonna have something else call Pro Air

    • Svs

      They will give a feature to the window that basically does nothing and name it iNdows

  • Ara Rezaee

    This is either getting out of hand, or Apple is trying to bitch slap Google back to its search engine age.

  • Matt

    If apple built a car I would definitely not buy it.
    Even as much as I love Apple and their products – a car is something they need to stay away because sometimes car makers need to stick to making cars and computer makers need to make computer. I’m not going to buy a car that sounds like a bee flying by – I’d buy a car from a real car manufacturer like BMW and Audi their the experts in the field who have been making cars for almost 100 years so that’s why Apple made car would never end up being in my garage. Also in the whole iOS in the car I think it’s a great idea but I must admit I’d rather take BMW’s iDrive system.

    • iBanks

      So…. If Apple was to hire these leaders/experts from these companies such as BMW and Audi, create an manufacturing plant for this car they choose to build, would your response be the same? I mean, exploring different avenues isn’t new to business and not impossible., just takes the right people to make it happen.

    • Joey_Z

      When Apple first got into the mobile phone industry, people said the same thing that Apple would never get it right since they joined the game too late. I think it’s wise to never say never. It doesn’t matter how long Nokia has been making phones because the whole purchasing decision has gone to a complete different direction. People were to willing to trade fancy looks for fancy OS. The transition from gas to electricity can be a good opportunity for Apple. Just like Apple teamed up with AT&T when launching the iPhone, the possibility to team up with BMW, Audi or Tesla is quite high. Resources and information on Apple’s side can be very attractive to auto manufacturers.

      • Matt

        Okay there your right both of you.
        Of they get together with a car manufacturer like BMW <3 then that's a different story.
        I can just see an M8

    • Rowan09

      Are you serious? Tesla’s are not your everyday car, they cost over $100K and they’re electric.

      • Matt

        The base model for a Tesla Model-S is $69K the price for the base model BMW i8 is $135,000. If your here to compare the two then let’s start the tesla weight 1500+ pounds more than an i8
        0-60mph for the i8 is two seconds faster
        The i8 looks to heaven and back better than any tesla especially with the McLaren style doors.
        It can go 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, has a TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder combustion engine at the rear axle, sports a front-wheel situated electric motor — which produces a combined system output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque
        Buddy if you’d take a Model S over a futuristic sports car — then I have no clue where the world has gone to.

      • Rowan09

        BMW’s may be the Ultimate driving machine but it still sucks ass in the snow or rain. I just say a guy today crash his 3 series into a tree today from a little snow on the road. My friend owns the new X5, he had it before anyone else and it’s fully equipped with a price of over $100k. He doesn’t drive it unless it nice weather because it sucks in the snow. People buying Tesla’s are looking to leave gasoline engines for electric which gives better mileage.

      • mav3rick

        Don’t know to drive, don’t buy a BMW. It is simply a driving machine not a toy…

      • Matt

        And yet if they make an M8
        Then that car will be a super car perhaps could be a hyper car going into the P1 range with aprox 900 total BHP

      • Rowan09

        Since they got rid of a clutch, I wasn’t a fan of the M5 anymore.

      • Matt

        Aye but it’s still sexy asf – I do miss the V10

      • Matt

        You can go ahead and take that Tesla anyday of the week! I’ll stick with The Ultimate Driving Machine.

      • Jonathan

        Can I have one please?

    • Jack Wong

      I see your points but acquire is the keyword these days.

      Sony/Samsung… they are not just in electronic business.

    • Frank Lopez

      Hmm I own an idrive BMW and it sucks. Totally not worth the amount of money they ask for. My iphone 5s is so much better.

  • Rowan09

    The iWatch being able to predict a heart attack would be huge. I really hope most of these speculations about the iWatch is true.

    • Matt

      I do see your point with the electric cars.
      Speaking of AWD that’s why there is xDrive just like Quattro for Audi. Never had problems with xDrive. Sure if you drive like an idiot in the middle of winter you’ll crash a Range Rover too. Doesn’t matter how good the car is you still have to be careful during winter

      • Rowan09

        It’s actually not me, I don’t dislike responses to my comments. The xDrive system is a piece of junk, Subaru has the best AWD system hands down with Nissan and Audi following. Don’t get me wrong I like BMWs there a nice piece of machine but there are others as well.

      • mav3rick

        So, looking forward to jailbreak your driving machine?

  • Vijay Panjwani

    Apple + Tesla = Awesomeness.!

  • Hyr3m

    Oh hell no! I’ve been looking into buying a Tesla for a while… Please Tesla, don’t get in bed with Apple : they’ll get you fubar.

  • Timothy Chan

    ivar 1 , icar 1s, icar 2 …… vs windows car 1 , windows car 1.1 etc….. interesting.

  • Dante Arellano

    So Tesla was the devil in the past for be to good for his time now he inventions can be the future of our world,the time is doing justice to him!!!!

  • mav3rick

    Just imagine an iCar: cannot take more than 30 degrees angles, have to go couple levels in settings to turn on the wipers, cannot make more than 2 consecutive right / left turns, high beams and interior lights all time on if you don’t upgrade the OS, navigating only on apple maps, and so on…