The rumour mill has ground out talk that Apple is looking at buying McLaren, the car company famous for its exploits in Formula One.
Here are the pieces of the jigsaw. Apple is good at design – it makes products that look cool, and come with a hefty price which reflect that. It is the world’s biggest company by market cap, but has hit the problem of big numbers. To carry on growing it has to find products that can be as successful as the iPhone. We know it has been looking at making a car; no one knows how advanced its plans are – outside of Apple and those sworn to secrecy.
Formula One is cool, but while McLaren is not dominating the Formula One track like it was a few years ago, it does now sell cars for the public –– but at $349,000 or so, they are even more expensive than Beats headphones.
So far the match with Apple seems perfect. There are also rumours that Apple has been losing a number of key employees working on its car project.
McLaren has expertise in many areas that Apple lacks – for example in carbon fibre.
And now the FT has claimed that Apple is considering buying McLaren, the company founded by Ron Dennis, and based in Surrey, for around $1.5 billion – and to give an idea of how much money that is, you could buy several Beats headsets with such a sum.
Actually, Apple forked out $3 billion for Beats in 2014 – and no doubt got some free headphones as part of the deal.
Meanwhile, McLaren has been losing money.
However, the BBC quoted a McLaren spokesman saying: "We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment."
Ummm, well maybe.
Frankly it often feels a little odd that Apple has not yet made a bid for Tesla – maybe too many egos for that deal to go ahead.
But spare a thought for the racing drivers. One assumes that Apple is embracing the idea of autonomous cars, so does that mean that Formula One drivers may lose their jobs to computers? Maybe McLaren driver Jenson Button, who has said he won’t be driving in Formula One next year knows something. But then he has also said he is only taking a sabbatical – maybe he will return, driving an Apple McLaren in 2018.