Should Apple buy Tesla because of the shortage of lithium for batteries?
A theory is making the round again, that Apple should buy Tesla Motors. The connection? Both depend on lithium ion batteries to power the gizmos sold by each company. A recent news report suggested the boom in iPad sales, as well as electric and hybrid car sales, was contributing to a jump in lithium prices. A press release today from Nova Mining Corp suggests the run-up on lithium prices could cause Apple and Tesla to merge because both companies require "massive amounts of lithium".
In other words, both companies use lithium ion batteries as a key component in their respective products. The upswing of both electrified vehicles and modern electronics gizmos is in part due to growing capabilities of lithium ion batteries, and dependent on the supply of these batteries. Does this mean Tesla and Apple should merge? Not necessarily, but there are some other interesting overlaps between the companies.
Both companies sell their products through retail stores that lean heavily on "experiencing" the product. This is different from traditional product sales models, and it may not be surprising to learn that George Blankenship, Tesla’s vice president of ownership experience, was formerly an executive with Apple overseeing that company's retail stores. Blankenship has described in the Inside Tesla blog posts that the goal for Tesla's stores is to create an environment in which people want to hang out and learn, rather than an environment in which they're pushed. If that sounds like an Apple Store, there's a reason for this.
The 17" screen in the Tesla Model S is being described by some as iPad-like. In a broader sense, modern cars are infotainment systems on wheels, and it's clear that Apple has a thought or two about building highly popular mobile infotainment systems. What would a car dashboard built on the iOS platform be like?