Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster thinks Apple should consider buying Tesla, he said in a recent interview with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Radio.
“The big thing they could buy that I would be impressed with is Tesla,” Munster said when asked what Apple should do with its $US203 billion in cash.
For the past few months, reports have indicated that Apple is planning to build its own electric car. But Munster believes that since Tesla is such a leader in that space, buying Tesla could be a smart move for Apple in the long term.
“To me, when you think about that absurd amount of cash, you have to go after opportunities,” he said. “And I think automotive fits within that camp.”
While Munster sees it as a lucrative opportunity for Apple, he also acknowledged that Apple is much more likely to develop its own electric car if it is planning to get into the automotive space — especially since there’s no indication that Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk would even want to sell the company.
“Given Apple’s DNA, it probably makes sense for them to just develop something on their own,” Munster said. “If they would go the Tesla route, and if Elon Musk would step aside, which those are two big ifs, then it would make structural sense for them to do that.”
This isn’t the first time the idea has been suggested. One shareholder told Apple CEO Tim Cook at a company shareholders meeting in March: “I’d like to see you guys buy Tesla,” according to The Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw.
Cook responded by saying: “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?”
That’s likely just the opinion of a few industry watchers, which won’t hold much influence over Apple, but it’s still an interesting thought given the recent reports suggesting Apple is building its own electric car. Earlier this week, Apple hired Doug Betts, an executive from Fiat Chrysler, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This is just one of several reports we’ve seen over the past few months indicating Apple is working on an electric car. The Journal also reported earlier this year that the initiative is being called “Project Titan” internally, and a source told The Financial Times that Apple is believed to be working on a car.
During Re/code’s Code Conference in May, Apple’s operations chief Jeff Williams reiterated Apple’s interest in the car by saying “the car is the ultimate mobile device.” He says he was referring to Car Play, Apple’s software that allows you to connect your iPhone to your car, but it was enough to spark some speculation.
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