Apple looking at cars, medical devices for growth

2014-02-18 17:48

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Apple is looking at cars and medical devices to diversify its sources of revenue as growth from iPhones and iPads slow.

A newspaper report said Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions, Adrian Perica, met Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk at the company’s headquarters last year at about the same time analysts suggested that Apple acquire the Model S electric car maker.

The company is also exploring medical devices and sensors that can help predict heart attacks by studying the sound that blood makes as it flows through arteries.

The company’s senior vice-president of operations, Jeff Williams, has met US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Dr Margaret Hamburg and Dr Jeffrey Shuren, who oversee the agency’s approval for medical devices, to discuss “mobile medical applications”, the paper reported, citing FDA records.

Apple could not be reached for comment.

Rival Google recently bought thermostat maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion (R34.7 billion), robot maker Boston Dynamic and artificial intelligence start-up, DeepMind Technologies. The company has also been working on projects including Google Glass and self-driving cars.

Investors hope that Apple, which last came out with a new device – the iPad – in 2010, has something up its sleeve for 2014. Speculation revolves around a Smartwatch or a long-rumoured TV product.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6, a mid-range Smartphone, and may also launch wearable devices such as iWatch, in the second half of the year.

Others say Apple can use its huge iPhone and iTunes base to get into mobile payments or advertising.

Apple reported lower-than-expected iPhone sales for the holiday shopping quarter and gave a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast. The company has been ceding ground to Samsung and other rivals in China.

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