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Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices, Electric Cars To Reignite Growth 255

An anonymous reader writes "The Apple rumor mill is alive and well. This time around the tech giant is rumored to be looking into exploring medical sensor technology related to predicting heart attacks, and might even buy Tesla. 'Taken together, Apple's potential forays into automobiles and medical devices, two industries worlds away from consumer electronics, underscore the company's deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads and take big risks. "Apple must increasingly rely on new products to reignite growth beyond the vision" of late founder Steve Jobs, said Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis. "They need the next big thing."'"
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Apple Rumored To Be Exploring Medical Devices, Electric Cars To Reignite Growth

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  • Apple buys tesla?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:07PM (#46267273) Homepage
    please dont do that apple, I really like Tesla. I dont want apple to be able to remote kill my car if i dont accept their EULA
  • Not a good sign (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akratist ( 1080775 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:11PM (#46267313)
    It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts.
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:16PM (#46267383)

    the company's deep desire to move away from iPhones and iPads

    iPhones and iPads make Apple an obscene amount of money and they are in a controlling position in the market. It should go without saying that they don't have "a deep desire to move away" from them. Add new product categories? Sure. Move away from iPhones and iPads? Nope.

    "Apple must increasingly rely on new products to reignite growth beyond the vision" of late founder Steve Jobs, said Bill Kreher, an analyst with Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis. "They need the next big thing."'"

    Growth is a bullshit metric. A company with one customer can grow their user base 1000% by getting to ten customers. A company with hundreds of millions of customers can't grow like that. Growth naturally slows as a company gets larger. Only bullshit artists looking to get page views or prop up a stock price blather on about how Apple need the next big thing to continue growing. They don't need to continue growing. They are raking money in faster than just about any other company. Trying to grow at the same rate as they have done in previous years is not only a ludicrously unachievable expectation to place on them, it's probably bad for business if they were stupid enough to try. Apple's core strength has always been a small, focused product family.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:21PM (#46267435) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, medicine and the treatment of illness is a real global conspiracy alright.

    Keeping the cost of it high seems to be.

    Next time you need a fairly major medical procedure, refuse to pay until you get an itemized bill - you'll be amazed at some of the bullshit they try and charge you for; $50 for the off-brand Sharpie they used to mark your skin, for example.

  • by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:24PM (#46267489) Homepage Journal
    Remember that HP once was almost only known as a producer of measurement equipment. Then they went into the computing hardware business big time. They, too, needed the "next big thing". As much as I may despise Apple, from a corporate-strategical point of view such a move sounds like making a lot of sense for Apple.
  • by the computer guy nex ( 916959 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:26PM (#46267501)
    If Apple cared about selling more widgets, they would have created lower-priced versions of all of their products years ago.

    Analysts want Apple to run the company their way, and Apple is refusing to do it. Good for them in my opinion.
  • by ccguy ( 1116865 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:28PM (#46267533) Homepage

    Apple could be in a position to leverage advances in sensing technology to make medicine cheaper and much more accessible.

    Low prices is Apple's motto all right

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:31PM (#46267567) Homepage

    With the passing of Jobs, I'm pretty sure everyone must realize that Apple's relevance is simply fading away. I know this sounds like a troll and perhaps in some ways it is.

    Despite the fact that I disliked Jobs and all that, there's no denying he was extremely effective. Despite the fact that I think he help the company from overtaking the business marketplace, he probably did it for extremely good reasons. He probably kept the company from making huge mistakes and from being hugely liable for all sorts of problems which Microsoft lives with daily. Legacy code support, business and government needs and all that. While there is no doubt Apple has that problem, Jobs managed to keep those things in check and their liabilities limited.

    And anyone familiar with Apple's history will recall what Apple did when they canned Jobs. They almost died because they did everything the normal business way. It didn't work. They weren't tooled to make it work. And Jobs is definitely not coming back (though I have no doubt some are still holding out hope) this time. Will there be a next great cult leader of Apple? Doesn't seem to be. So what's ahead besides the public getting tired of incremental advancements which seem to follow other products which have been successful with incremental advancements? Don't know, but I suspect anything to do with anti-privacy and personal identification research will bite Apple in the ass in today's political climate. The whole planet is still pretty angry at the US and US companies. Pushing that stuff forward now seems like it will not go over very well. But what do I know? I'm just a guy on Slashdot.

    Apple doesn't have a magic-man any longer. True? Apple pushes a non-Microsoft way to the masses. True? This has always been a disadvantaged position in business and often even in personal computing. True? Apple's fandom kept it going for a while but was floundering until Jobs brought it all back but it wasn't about computers any longer. True? Now Apple is essentially "consumer electronics with a legacy of personal computer stuff." True? The mobile market, the one which Apple unquestionably played a highly visible and major role in its present-day and contemporary form, has MATURED. True? (Apple seems to think so or else it wouldn't be looking to watches and other things which, IMHO are doomed to impractical failure.) A matured market has had many players and competitors but the main players are decreasing in numbers. I just don't see where Apple will continue to fit in.

    Suggestions for Apple? Get into more personal data storage and computing. Don't just let things connect together in limited, specified ways. Get into personal storage environments -- personal clouds. Create a wireless standard for storage so that users can keep their data secure and available (a tricky balance which almost seems mutually exclusive) and synchronized.

    I think personal computing needs to be UI adaptable while providing access to most or all apps and data the user wants. But there is no universal wireless universal storage scheme yet. (You know, like a wireless server in your pocket or backpack or whatever?) Put R&D money there. This isn't only what people want, it's what they need. Apple has momentum and is capable of doing it. But will their own corporate greed prevent them from trying to keep control of user data the way everyone else is? Or will they get pushed aside when someone else steps up and says "you now control your own data and you can have it any way you want." I know lots of people want all of their pictures, all of their videos, all of their music available to them all of the time and at the same time, they don't want someone else controlling or containing it for them. Especially now.

  • by starless ( 60879 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:35PM (#46267615)

    I think that;s probably more of a national conspiracy (in the US) than a global conspiracy...

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:40PM (#46267667)
    ...because in 2006, Samsung clearly copied [] the design of Apple's 2010 iPad. Maybe Apple should buy them just for their time travel technology.
  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:46PM (#46267741) Homepage Journal

    I think you don't need a conspiracy to explain the broken conditions in the US. Just an obsession with free market solutions in a field that can never be a free market.

  • *sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @02:03PM (#46268635) Homepage Journal

    "The Apple rumor mill is alive and well."

    And, you can stop reading right there. Analysts are idiots, and rumors usually turn out to be wrong.

    As for growth... "Last year, we grew (revenue) by $14 billion to $15 billion. Yes, those percentages are smaller compared to a year earlier and two years earlier and so forth. But that doesn't mean that you're not a growth company. We were in hyper-growth, or whatever is above growth. We went from $65 billion to over $100 billion to $150 billion to $170 billion. These are historic, unprecedented numbers. I don't know any companies adding growth at that level. So when you say $14 billion to $15 billion compared to those numbers, it's clearly smaller and a smaller percentage, but, to put it in some context, that's like adding three Fortune 500 companies in a year. [emphasis mine] I think that's hard to say that's not a growth company."

    --Tim Cook to the WSJ Feb 7, 2014 []

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus