Shareholders have a big plan for Apple.
They want it to buy electric car company Tesla.
At Apple’s shareholder meeting, one shareholder told CEO Tim Cook, “I’d like to see you guys buy Tesla,” according to FT reporter Tim Bradshaw.
Cook’s response: “We don’t really have a relationship with Tesla. I’d love Tesla to pick up CarPlay. Was that a good way to avoid the question?”
Then a second shareholder said to Cook: “I think there is something about you two companies.”
Cook’s response: “Let me think if there’s another way to do a non-answer.”
It seems like these are just two individual shareholders who don’t have significant sway over what Apple would or would not do. Still, it’s interesting to see them speaking up like this.
Apple is reportedly in early stages of developing its own electric car. It has hired a number of employees from Tesla to work on the car.
It’s unclear if anything will come of Apple’s work.
But, if Apple is interested in developing a car, then it should explore the possibility of buying Tesla. Tesla’s market cap is $US24.3 billion. Apple has $US178 billion in cash. It could buy Tesla seven times, and still have money left over.
Tesla already makes a great electric car. It’s led by a visionary in Elon Musk. Adding Musk to Apple would be worth a few billion on its own.
In 2014, there were reports of Tesla and Apple meeting. Perhaps Apple was interested in buying Tesla, and Tesla turned Apple down. Maybe they were just saying hi.
The two companies are similar in that they make high-end, disruptive products that they control from top to bottom. The Model S is the iPhone of cars, so it would make sense for Apple to buy Tesla.
But, the companies have slightly different visions when it comes to pricing and distribution. Cook has repeatedly said he is interested in making the “best” products, not the “most” products. As a result, the iPhone remains a product that costs twice as much as an average Android phone. Apple is willing to give up on market share for profits.
Musk has said that he wants to lower the price of Tesla’s cars to make them affordable for everyone in the world. He has a missionary purpose to his company. He wants to kill gasoline cars and all the pollution and other negative impact that comes with them. Perhaps if he threw in with Apple he might not be able to make that happen since Apple tends to pursue high prices.
Or, maybe Musk is having too much fun running his own company. It’s hard to be the Next Steve Jobs if you sell your company to Steve Jobs’ old company.
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