Why Apple should buy McLaren -- even if it won't

volcano orange mclaren p1 in race mode 14494581169
Axion23 (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

Apple car hopefuls may have something to be excited about. Or maybe not.

Rumor has it that Apple is in talks with British supercar maker McLaren -- which has its roots in the Formula 1 racing circuit dating back to the 1960s -- to either buy or invest heavily in the automaker, but both companies are denying those claims. That hasn't stopped people from hoping, though, and lots of people think that a partnership would work out well for both Apple and McLaren.

In IT Blogwatch, we sit back and go along for the ride.

So why should Apple buy McLaren? Benjamin Zhang kicks off the speculation:

An Apple-McLaren tie up makes a remarkable amount of sense for both parties... As a company that reportedly wants to enter the automotive space, Apple could...use McLaren's decades worth of car-building know-how...With McLaren, Apple would...have one of the finest automotive design and engineering firms in the world.
Conversely...with Apple's backing, [McLaren] could truly realize the fully potential of its engineering prowess with fewer financial constraints...Apple's expertise with consumer electronics will do wonders for McLaren's cars in a marketplace that puts...a premium on presentation and user interface.

Compelling argument. But is there more? Theo Leggett sees another reason for the potential deal:

A...likely target is McLaren Applied Technologies...Part of what it does is data analytics. During Formula 1 races, McLaren uses computers to model...any scenario that might occur, so that the team can adapt its strategy on a continuous basis. This kind of modelling can be used...to predict how traffic will flow through a...city centre, and how problems in one area might have knock-on effects miles away.
It also develops advanced materials -- lightweight carbon composites and complex alloys, which are used by the automotive business. And it's recognised as a leader in the development of simulators, which can model and predict vehicle behaviour.

Got it. McLaren makes fancy cars, has advanced data analytics capabilities and develops cool, futuristic-sounding materials. Apple makes nice tech that could be used in said fancy cars. But a partnership could benefit Apple in one other very specific way. Marco della Cava lays it out for us:

Let’s assume...that Apple will, in five years, be parking a car inside its Apple stores...Getting a car out that fast...will require partnerships or acquisitions with innovative companies that share Apple’s obsession with detail...McLaren sports cars meet that criteria, and then some.
What’s more, McLaren's...Applied Technologies division not only works on systems and electronics for consumer and racing cars, its expertise extends to helping a British pharmaceutical company figure out how to streamline its toothpaste plant...Could advice on a car production line be far behind?

But as we said, both companies are currently denying a deal is in the works. But if a deal does come to fruition, AnchorClanker has a prediction:

If it happens, I wonder how long it will take them to ensure that your brand new supercar only runs on iGas.
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