Apple kicks tires on possible Tesla deal

We’re all used to the iPhone and iPad — but what about the iCar?

A new foray into the automobile industry could be on the horizon for tech giant Apple after executives met with with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk last spring to discuss a possible merger, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Musk met with Apple’s merger and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica, and possibly also with Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Chron reports.

Speculation regarding a link between Apple and the electric vehicle manufacturer has been swirling since tech analyst Adnann Ahmad wrote an open letter suggesting that a partnership between the two companies could be mutually beneficial, going so far as to say that Apple should consider acquiring the electric car company.

The meeting between the two companies reportedly took place shortly after the open letter was published.

As the smartphone and tablet markets become increasingly saturated, Apple could be looking to develop new gadgets with more long-term potential, as well as hoping to excite investors with groundbreaking new products.

Apple already dipped its toe in automobile technology last year, announcing plans to integrate its iOS into car dashboards and a deal with Ferrari for an infotainment system that employs Siri’s voice software.

Apple’s potential move from smartphones, tablets and computers to more expansive industries is also illuminated by their recent exploration into medical devices, including research into sensor technology that could help predict heart attacks.

Regardless of what direction Apple chooses to take moving forward, analysts speculate that the company is looking to take big risks in the near future.  Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones Investment told the Chronicle:

“Apple must increasingly rely on new products to reignite growth…they need the next big thing.”