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Apple exploring cars, medical devices to reignite growth - SFGate

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Tesla and Apple already have plenty in common. Both have built brands based on advanced engineering and stylish user-friendly design. And each company has become a symbol of Silicon Valley innovation - even among people who don't own their products. Tesla has a habit of poaching former Apple executives and engineers - none more notable than former Apple marketing guru George Blankenship. He developed Tesla's retail concept of sleek, company-owned stores rather than franchise dealerships. Those stores bear more than a passing resemblance to Apple Stores. (Blankenship left Tesla in November for undisclosed reasons.)

Apple also appears deeply interested in heart-related medical devices. The company has been beefing up its health care expertise, hiring doctors and lawyers with experience in lobbying the Food and Drug Administration.

Do you think Apple would ever consider buying Tesla?

It seems Apple is.  Per the SF Gate article, "A source tells The Chronicle that Perica met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant.

A spokeswoman for Tesla declined to comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment."


Holy iCar, Batman!

Of course, Apple's dalliances may never bear fruit - so to speak. With funds of almost $160 billion in cash and investments, the company can afford to indulge a bit.

But Apple's moves of late suggest a bit more urgency. Since the company hired Perica from Goldman Sachs in 2009, Apple has quickened its pace of acquisitions. Last month, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it spent $525 million on deals in the previous quarter, almost double what it spent for the entire previous year.

$525 million is nothing to Apple. Where are the big bets?

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