Apple-Tesla partnership charged with speculation

Speculation about a partnership between Apple and Tesla has intensified in recent days based on rumors and unnamed sources.

The speculation has caused Tesla’s stock price to close at a record $203.70 yesterday, prompting analysts to weigh the merits of such a partnership.

The speculation is based in part by a meeting in spring of 2013 between Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and Apple’s mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The meeting preceded an open letter by a German investment banking analyst urging Apple executives to acquire the revolutionary electric car company, according to the Chronicle.

Tesla is equally innovative in its technology applications as its car design, making the two seem like a fit.

The Silicon Valley companies share a loyal brand following based on eye-catching and intuitive design, and proprietary technological innovativeness. Tesla was able to correct a problem with overheating adapters by issuing a software update and new adapters. Owners did not have to bring the car in, causing Musk to decry the word recall. It was the first such fix of its kind, though certainly not the last.

While Apple has plenty of cash, Tesla is the darling of Wall Street. Musk told Bloomberg News in May 2013 that an acquisition could happen if the buyer had a big cash position. While neither company seems to need the other, they could each benefit from a partnership, which seems more likely than an acquisition.

Any collaboration would likely happen on the 17” touchscreen that is the brain center of Tesla’s Model S luxury performance sedan.

Apple is looking at everything from cars to medical gear to wearable devices. Apple’s last new product, the iPad, was launched in 2010, causing investors to be expecting something new and big for 2014 such as a TV product or smartwatch, according to Reuters.

An electric car seems a stretch, but that may be what is in Apple’s eye.     

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