Over the past two years, Apple (News - Alert) has been seriously looking into entering the connected car industry, attempting to build its own electric vehicle that can drive itself. It seems that the tech giant is considering both internal and external options as they move further into this process. Apple has reportedly entered into preliminary talks with McLaren, the British maker of luxury cars, about some form of an acquisition that would give Apple access to much greater resources as it continues its foray into the automobile industry.
These talks are in the very early stages at the moment, and any potential acquisition down the road could take either the form of a total absorption by Apple or a strategic partnership. Making some sort of deal with McLaren could greatly accelerate Apple’s self-driving car project, as the automobile manufacturer has expertise in engineering and car-building materials that Apple is lacking at the moment.
Were Apple to fully acquire McLaren (which is valued at between 1 and 1.5 billion British pounds), it would be the tech company’s largest purchase since 2014, when they paid 3 billion dollars for Beats headphones. That purchase was a lynchpin in the rolling out of Apple’s streaming music service. Thus, if Apple pursues this partnership with McLaren, it will send a clear indicator of the serious value they believe the potential for their self-driving electric car has.
Officially, no negotiations have commenced between Apple and McLaren. “McLaren is not in discussion with Apple about any potential investment,” the company said in a statement when questioned by the Financial Times (News - Alert). However, it is possible that Apple has approached the car manufacturer, and official negotiations simply have not commenced as of yet. Those in both the tech and automobile industries should keep a close eye on any potential developments between these two companies, as it could spur the next big innovation from Apple.