During Apple Inc.’s annual meeting at its Cupertino, California, one company was mentioned quite a number of times by the tech giant’s shareholders. During the meeting, an investor told Apple chief executive Tim Cook, “Quite frankly, I’d like to see you guys buy Tesla.”
The comment was then followed by laughter in and then some applause. Cook tried to sidestep the question by saying that Apple doesn’t really have a relationship with Tesla, and then shifted the topic to CarPlay, the company’s in-car information and entertainment system.
He said that he’d love Tesla to pick up CarPlay, which would mean that every major auto brand is committed to the system. Despite that remarks, investors still brought up Tesla during the meeting. In fact, one shareholder said that he has been a fan of Apple since 1984, but that that there is something else he is in love with that’s not Apple – a Tesla Model S.
He then said, “Am I insane to imagine something might happen here?” Cook responded by saying that Apple is “very focused on CarPlay.” Apple has been assembling a team in charge of developing an electric vehicle for production as soon as the end of the decade, according to source privy with the matter.
Should Apple enters the EV business, it would go head-to-head against Tesla and General Motors Co., which are both seeking to offer by 2017 200-mile EVs priced at less than $40,000.
In 2013, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions held a meeting, prompting Tesla’s stock price to jump above $200 apiece early 2014. Both companies are also trying to lure employees away from each other into their folds.