Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 05:05 am PT (08:05 am ET)
Apple's automotive ambitions could have been augmented with the acquisition of Tesla, an analyst claims, with the iPhone maker said to have made a "serious bid" to buy the electric car producer in 2013, a move that could have brought technology developed under "Project Titan" to commercialization far earlier.
Apple has seemingly harbored plans to produce its own brand of vehicle for some time, under the name "Project Titan," though speculation has hinted at the possibility of Apple using its massive resources to get a head start in the market by purchasing a car manufacturer instead of working entirely from scratch. According to a recent TV interview, it seems Apple tried to do just that.
Speaking on CNBC on Tuesday, Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin claimed Apple made a "serious bid" to purchase Tesla, around 2013, with the offer supposedly in the region of $240 per share. It is unclear how far along the alleged negotiations went, such as a "formal paperwork stage" that would signal an intent to purchase.
While there is only the word of Irwin that the bid was made, he insists "multiple checks" were made with multiple sources, and he has "complete confidence" that it is "credible." At this time there is no other evidence or claims that such a bid existed.
If Apple is still interested in acquiring a manufacturer to make its own vehicle, the televised segment suggests Tesla could be a good target for such a purchase once more, as the price has dropped down far enough to make it an attractive target. At the time of publication, Tesla is hovering at around $205 per share, far below the $240 supposedly bid six years ago by Apple.
Tesla's share price has taken a beating over the last six months, and is currently close to half the $376.79 recorded for the stock on December 13. The pain could continue for the Elon Musk-led company for a while longer, as the note proposed a worst case scenario of Tesla's stock dropping to just $10.