Apple’s Project Titan Just Got Faster With a Possible F1 Acquisition
There’s a new rumor going around the race-track that Apple Inc. may be in the mood to scoop up a Formula 1 racing team. F1 blogger Joe Saward wrote in his blog post that the iPhone maker may be interested in the purchase of such a team.
Rumors originating from the Formula 1 headquarters in England suggest that a necessary due diligence is being performed to prepare for a possible bid from Apple. While Mr. Saward could not get any solid leads on what Apple may be up to, an opportunity has opened up for the company. “F1 Supremo” and British businessman Bernie Ecclestone is looking for a buyer for his team.
While there were previous bids for the purchase of F1 Supremo, those deals fell through. It has been widely reported that Mr. Ecclestone is ready to let go of his stake from the 40-year old sport. Subsequently, the previous bids had numbers that crossed the $8.5 billion mark.
While Apple is in the habit of acquiring small companies and startups, this would be a completely different shift in the company’s policy. One of Apple’s most expensive acquisitions is that of Beats Electronics, which the iPhone maker bought for $3 billion.
As stated by Mr. Saward, Apple could benefit highly from such a purchase. With $527 billion in the account, out of which $161 billion sits in net cash, the purchase of the F1 team may not be that heavy on the pocket for the kind of benefits it stands to receive from the deal. Experts believe we are gradually shifting to a time where “cutting the cord” in favor of internet streaming is something that all tech companies want. These days, companies such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, HBO and others are rushing to milk the internet TV streaming phenomenon.
Subsequently, the way these companies differentiate from the competition is by the availability of more content while also producing original content. Similarly, Amazon and Netflix have their own studio that pumps out movies and TV, giving them an edge over other streaming services. Apple, on the other hand, also posted a casting call for its new TV show, “Planet of the Apps,” which will be a reality TV series centered on the life of developers. This shows how original content is the crux of entering the digital streaming age.
Back when Apple launched the fourth-generation Apple TV, it was rumored that a $40 streaming service would also be included along with a choice of 25 channels to begin with. However, the frustrating process of negotiations with channels meant Apple found it difficult to strike a favorable deal. If the rumors mentioned above are true then it means the iPhone maker has found a way where it can buy into the rights for the content it wants to show rather than go through pointless deals, something you can do when you have $500 billion in the bank.
The advantages to Apple for buying a F1 team are obvious; rights. The company will now have direct rights to showcase any races it competes in on the Apple TV. Subsequently, this will give an element of exclusivity for users and also help drive up purchases. Another way it can benefit from such a deal is by starting its image as a car company albeit a racing company.
There have been countless rumors that Apple is working on its own electric, possibly an autonomous automobile. For a company that makes consumer smartphones, manufacturing a car is something a lot of people had not imagined. However, the purchase of a F1 team is going to help change brand associations. The Apple Car or “Project Titan” may make an appearance in 2020 and the road leading up to it will be smooth if the company can change the brand’s association as an all-rounder.
In any case, Apple has considerable benefits in such a purchase and until then, we’re sure the company is testing out logos that it intends to put on those superfast F1 cars.
Editing by Omair Siddiqui;Graphics by Rashid Rehman