Apple Looks To Cars, Medical Devices For Growth – Report

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Mac maker Apple reportedly seeks new growth opportunities as smartphone and tablet markets slow

Apple is reportedly seeking growth opportunities in the fields of electric cars and medical devices, amid concerns that the fiercely competitive smartphone and tablet markets are slowing.

Apple is therefore said to be seeking new avenues to explore. The company is course already widely rumoured to be developing an iWatch and even an iRing device for the wearable computing market, as well as an enhanced television product.

However, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the company is also now considering branching out from its IT roots.

Medical And Automotive

It said that Apple’s mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica is looking to use Apple’s enormous cash pile ($160 billion/£96 billion and counting) for possible takeovers, including companies that specialise in search engines and data analytics, as well mapping software and motion tracking chips.

Apple eclipseBut the newspaper, citing an unnamed source, says that Apple’s Perica has met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring. This was apparently at the same time as analysts were suggesting Apple acquire the American electric car company. The newspaper said a spokesperson for Tesla declined to comment, and of course Apple followed its usual policy of not speaking to the media either.

The Chronicle also said that it had learned that Apple is heavily exploring medical devices, specifically sensor technology that can help predict heart attacks. It said that this area is being led by sound genius Tomlinson Holman, whom Apple hired back in 2011.

Holman is a renowned audio engineer who invented THX and 10.2 surround sound and the thinking is that Apple could in future have devices that may predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries. Or it could likewise use the technology to unlock a smartphone for example, based on the sounds of the human heart.

Apple staff have also reportedly met with the American US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees approval for medical devices to discuss “mobile medical applications,” according to FDA records.

Next Big Thing

Of course, rumours surrounding Apple are plentiful in the extreme, but comes amid growing concern at where Apple is going to find “the next big thing.”

Last month for example Apple posted record first quarter revenues and revealed that it had sold 51 million iPhones – a new company record – during the holiday-period that ended 28 December.

Despite those stellar results, the markets were not impressed, and Apple’s share price declined dramatically in the hours following the results.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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