It looks like the long-rumored Apple car might be way more luxurious than we thought. Apple is reportedly in talks to buy luxury supercar maker McLaren.
The news came hot on the heels of talk that Apple’s “Project Titan” in-house car project had been scaled back, and with speculation that Apple may try to partner up with a car maker rather than claim full control of the creative process.
The value of the British automaker is valued at nearly $2 billion.
The Financial Times report has the internet baffled: Apple wouldn’t just buy a car company like that, would they? Surely they would want as much control as possible, going their own way in the design process?
But historically, this is classic Apple, and here’s why:
Apple doesn’t blindly enter markets, or develop features in-house just for the sake of it. Speculation that the company would buy an existing phone maker to enter the cellular market turned out to be untrue, but the iPhone has been aided by a number of acquisitions. Apple’s purchase of P. A. Semi in 2008 for $278 million has propelled the phone’s processors to dizzying speeds that rival MacBooks, while its 2012 acquisition of AuthenTec for $356 million helped bring Touch ID to its mobile offerings. Both of these have brought crucial features that will aid the iPhone’s longevity: its processors will likely continue to gain in strength, while its fingerprint scanning has led to a fully integrated mobile payment system.
Sometimes, Apple will outright buy companies to try and enter markets. The most famous example is Beats, bought by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. The acquisition gave the company a fully-developed music streaming service, which it redesigned and released as Apple Music. But long-term fans will remember that the company spent over $400 million on NeXT in 1997, after years of attempting to develop a next-generation operating system. NeXTSTEP was developed into Mac OS X, and Steve Jobs returned as CEO to bring the company new found glories.
Of course, no Apple rumor would be complete without headphone jack jokes at this point:
The rumors of a McLaren buyout may not amount to anything. Either way, though, the rumor does fit with how the company operates.Photos via Getty Images / Dan Kitwood