Apple, Inc. May Have Talked iOS In The Car With Tesla Motors Inc

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Apple, Inc. May Have Talked iOS In The Car With Tesla Motors Inc
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

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.

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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.

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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.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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11 COMMENTS

  1. Elon has actually talked about this. The Tesla main screen would mirror the iOS screen and pass touch input back to the iOS device so you could operate your iPhone while it was still in your pocket. They would likely use VNC protocol which the Mac uses for screen sharing.

  2. Dumbest idea ever – this would kill Tesla.
    Their system is Linux based why would they ever do this? Makes no sense at all.

    Imagine having to have itunes to hear music. Ugg.
    iOS is not a Real TIme OPerating System – hardly suited

    QNX makes a lot more sense

  3. I think the biggest barrier to this is the constant security issues with iOS. Noone wants their car hacked (especially with the integration of Tesla’s system, where they can actually control other things than the entertainment system through the panel). Would suck to have a hacker disable your car on a cold highway.

  4. Do you factor in the product and revenue attrition that takes place when the very disruptive Model E hits the scene? I can see a scenario where they are displacing a few hundred billion annually in business (fewer brake pads, transmissions, air filters, oil changes, etc).
    They waited until the perfect moment when the old guard started listening exclusively to their own rhetoric about electric cars never being viable and then they blew by or are in the process of blowing by. Every single company except maybe Toyota (and they have a strategic relationship with Tesla) has been asleep at the wheel of the EV revolution. They have weak IP and weak momentum.

  5. When Tim & Elon meet; we can take this speculation more seriously. So far Tim hasn’t seemed to find it a good use of his time.When he does, something is surly on the agenda other than passive conversation.
    When Tim went to China last year to meet with CM; we KNEW a deal was outlined and just waiting for conditions to be met and news to be announced.
    Tim does not take passive meetings. He has people to do that for him.

  6. Not knocking Tesla. Just the valuation. It is unjustified and emotional. I hope they live up to it and make enough money for the investment to be considered less speculative than I see it now.

  7. Making iOS multi user is the biggest barrier to this. The iTesla (embedded 17″ iPad) would have to have user switching between both spouses and a teen driver, for example, as well as a possible guest user with only the base functionality of the car’s systems. The guest user is problematic since there would be no Apple account to tie it to, perhaps other than one that you buy with the car… and that would have to be an Apple account that has no “extra devices” option like traditional Apple ID’s have.

  8. Prop up Tesla? I think that being the break away leader in manufacturing electric cars in a time when peak oil has passed by is what is currently propping them up..

  9. Maybe the meeting was to discuss a venture to produce lithium batteries; or solar charging lithium batteries better yet.
    We have no clue what they discussed. And given it was a year ago, maybe they don’t even remember.
    Imagine how many coffee conversations are had in a year that are nothing bu chit chat.

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