Wall Street’s been abuzz with talk about a marriage between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), although CEO Elon Musk said this week that it’s highly unlikely. So if a merger is unlikely, what might they have been talking about? Perhaps they were considering a partnership between Tesla and Apple’s iOS in the Car.

Apple Buy Tesla

This is actually something I suggested a few days ago, and as Business Insider notes, it isn’t uncommon for executives in charge of mergers and acquisitions to meet with other companies to talk about partnerships or joint ventures rather than mergers.

Would Tesla put iOS in the Car in its cars?

It should be noted that even though Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) met almost a year ago, we haven’t heard an announcement about iOS in the Car going into the Model S yet. However, we have heard about a number of other deals Tesla has struck with other companies regarding connectivity in its car.

The automaker partnered with Slacker Radio for streaming music in the U.S. but Rdio for the same service in Europe because Slacker doesn’t have the rights for music in Europe. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) also partnered with AT&T to put high speed Internet inside its vehicles.

Did Tesla tell Apple no?

Is it possible that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was shunned by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) for some reason or another? After all, if Tesla wants to be a truly global auto brand, placing iOS in the Car might not make a whole lot of sense since Android has a stranglehold on the global smartphone market. Then again, the automaker has partnered with two different companies for its streaming radio services based on geographic region.

So it might make sense to partner with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the U.S. and a few other key markets and Android elsewhere. And besides, many put Apple and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the same premium class, and indeed the touch screen in the Model S looks a bit like an iPad, or so I’ve heard.