Investors to Apple: buy Tesla! Musk to Apple: eh.

14 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 Reasons Apple Won’t Buy Tesla.

At Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, multiple investors questioned chief executive officer Tim Cook about the prospects of Apple one day owning Tesla, to which Mr. Most of the buzz at the Apple press conference Monday was over a new watch, but Apple CEO Tim Cook also provided an important update for everyone who is tired of screaming at their dash because the system that connects the phone to the car’s stereo system doesn’t work well.Days after the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple’s annual general meeting was dominated by a push from shareholders of the Californian technology company to buy or partner with one of its Silicon Valley neighbours, electric car maker Tesla. Cook attempted to shuffle around answering. “We don’t really have a relationship with them,” Cook replied when asked about Apple’s affiliation to Tesla’s co-founder Elon Musk. “I’d love Tesla to pick up CarPlay.

Cook said that “every major car brand has committed to delivering CarPlay” and added that the software will be available on 40 models by the end of the year. “We may all eventually wind up there, but right now we prefer to use our in-house proprietary platforms for those kinds of functions,” said John Hanson, Toyota’s advanced technology communications manager, to Jalopnik. Apple’s share price had slumped, its iPhone was struggling against arch-rival Samsung and market analysts were haranguing him about the absence of new product categories.

We now have every major auto brand committing to use CarPlay, and maybe Tesla would want to do that.” Adding, “Was that a good way to avoid the question?” As The Verge reports, a few minutes later, an investor stepped up to the mic and likened his enthusiasm over his Tesla Model S to when he put down a deposit for one of the first Macs in 1984, “Every time I see it, it blows my mind…. Given that the stock is up 65 per cent in the past 12 months and has more than doubled since he took over from Steve Jobs, it’s a fair assessment to suggest that they mood was generally content and there weren’t a lot of tough complaints to stickhandle. “We’re very focused on Car Play,” Cook said, referring to Apple software used by several automakers. Though Apple’s $178 billion cash reserves are more than enough to afford Tesla — which has a roughly $24 billion market cap — the move is highly unlikely, analysts told The Huffington Post. “It doesn’t necessarily match,” Neil Cybart, an independent analyst who founded the firm Above Avalon, told HuffPost. “The playbook that Apple typically relies on wouldn’t be used or wouldn’t be followed if they went out and bought Tesla.” Apple buys other companies to absorb their technology. Am I insane to think something might happen here?” In case you were wondering, CarPlay is Apple’s attempt to have people stare at the roads, not their iPhone.

For example, the company launched its own maps application in 2012, two years after buying and shutting down mapping startups Poly9 and Placebase. “They tend to buy technologies that they then develop and make into other things that they’re doing,” Jan Dawson, the analyst behind the firm Jackdaw, told HuffPost. CarPlay was announced about a year ago and allows iPhone users who have iOS 8 to connect their phones to infotainment systems and the view on the vehicle dashboard looks a lot like it does on the phone. It’s an intriguing thought, as the two companies are easily two of the hottest names in Silicon Valley that — for the moment anyway — don’t ostensibly compete with each other. Releasing an Apple car would be a huge deal, and the firm would likely not put its brand on something that was entirely developed outside of its control.

Today, iPhones sales are soaring, the stock price is at an all-time high (making Apple worth €680bn) and there are ambitious new products launched in the form of Apple Watch and Apple Pay. The ability to attach Tesla’s name and talent pool to Apple’s war chest and tentative steps into the automotive space for a relatively paltry sum of more than $25 billion (Tesla’s market value on Wednesday morning) is too tantalizing to dismiss outright. The first clue hinting at Apple’s interest in autonomous vehicles arrived when a van decked out with high-tech sensors – much like the type used in other self-driving vehicles – was seen driving on California roads.

That’s part of why it chose to locate its Gigafactory, a massive battery-making facility currently under construction, in Nevada — it’s close enough to easily ship lithium-ion packs westward for use in cars. It was later reported by the Wall Street Journal that Apple recruited “several hundred employees” for its code-named “Titan” project, which is thought to be associated with a possible driverless car. Two speakers, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and a black Apple shareholder who did not provide his name, urged Cook to improve diversity in Apple’s leadership and board. Hellbent on igniting an electric car revolution, CEO Elon Musk has kept a tight grip on Tesla’s supply chain in hopes of ensuring relative perfection with each model.

Apple certainly has enough cash (around $180 billion) currently burning a hole in its pockets. “We had conversations with Apple,” Musk says, refusing to give specifics about the conversation. “When you stay super focused on achieving a compelling mass-market electric car, I’d be very concerned in any acquisition scenario, whoever it is, that we may become distracted from that task, which has always been the driving goal of Tesla.” As Business Insider points out, Musk and Cook have very different goals in the grand scheme of things. He praised Cook for releasing workforce demographics statistics as several other top tech companies have done, but urged Apple to follow Intel’s lead in setting more specific goals. Apple is interested in making innovative gizmos and turning a profit, while Musk has set out to fundamentally change how and where the human race can travel with less of a focus on earnings. The result is that over the last two years, Apple has grown its retail chain into an enormous cash-generating machine, with 453 of its own stores worldwide (including one in Belfast but none yet in Dublin).

This means that even in a year when Apple doesn’t hit any outright home runs with product launches – such as in 2013 – its solid product range and expanding retail availability keeps bringing in record levels of revenue. In its last set of quarterly results, Apple revealed that it sold almost 75m iPhones during the last three months of 2014, moving it into first position worldwide ahead of Samsung. But what was arguably even more impressive was that the average selling price of its handsets went up. (An entry-level iPhone 6 costs €700 and its top-specification iPhone 6 Plus costs €1,000.) In other words, its prices, sales and profits all went up at the same time. In turning its back on budget tech products (with the exception of its Apple TV box), Apple has cornered a large section of the affluent consumer market. Although, I’d much prefer to have Apple Pay in place first (expected in Europe later this year) there’s still enough development happening with different apps and systems to make this a well supported new product.

It was the right move: the bigger shapes obliterated the biggest advantage that any single rival handset had over the iPhone and have given Apple its most popular and most profitable products in its 30-year history. Few people are jumping up and down at the prospect of a smartwatch: fewer than a million were sold globally last year, despite Samsung, LG, Sony and Google all jumping in. But even conservative estimates put Apple Watch sales this year at 10m. (Other analysts take a more bullish view, with UBS Bank estimating that Apple will sell 24m of the devices this year and another firm – Global Equities Research – predicting sales of 42m Watch units in 2015.) So why should Apple succeed where others have failed?

But fans of the product say that it could wean them off having to constantly take one’s phone out of a pocket every time a notification buzzer goes off. Attempted comparisons with Steve Jobs appear not to have fazed him and interviews during the period paint a picture of a person comfortable in his own skin. Cook’s work ethic also allows him to look beyond anxiety and ego: he is a famously strict task-master who gets up at 4am every day and is known for his attention to detail. Nevertheless, given the turnaround in Apple’s fortunes, one could forgive him for being more than a little jubilant as he took to the Yerba Buena Arts Centre in California on Monday.

Adrian Weckler looks at four of them Huawei announced its own ‘Watch’ last week and this one can take any standard 18mm watch strap, meaning you can opt for proper leather over plastic or rubber. The circular 1.4-inch screen is still a little chunky and thick, as the technology (4GB storage, 512MB Ram, Bluetooth and a processor) is still not at the point where it can be miniaturised into the size of a two euro coin. This is because it tries hard to eschew IT aesthetics and replicate a classically designed (albeit very male-orientated) round watch with a leather strap.

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