Technology giant Apple could make a bid for Formula One, a surprising move for one of the worlds biggest companies.
While on the outside it might look like an odd marriage, when you look at the business strategy of Apple it definitely makes sense to be in the arena.
Apple is a hardware company, making the majority of their money through the various devices in their product range, with the iPhone their runaway success. The iPad had an initial success, but has recently dropped in sales, along with their other products including the Apple Watch, MacBooks and Apple TV, although these have proved not as successful as their perennial iPhone. The company makes their money on hardware, and predominately on the iPhone, with software an after thought – with Microsoft and Google leading that market.
Innovation has proved to be Apples success, they were not the first to market with a smartphone, they were not the first to market with a tablet and have lagged behind the PC market dramatically, but what they have managed to do is legitimise a particular market and sell it to the mainstream. That is where their next big bet will come from, their ‘Apple Car’, named Project Titan.
When thinking about the Apple brand, it fits quite well with the current portfolio of companies involved in the sport. It is high-end, but achievable for most of the western world, but also approachable. It certainly holds its own alongside the likes of Johnnie Walker and Rolex.
So the brand fits, and they have a car product they are developing in California. Not only that they have the cash to buy, we’re not talking financing here – they have the cash to buy outright which could prove to a bonus after the hunt for a buyer has been on for at least the last 18 months.
When looking into the other benefits to Apple, the future of the television rights could be an interesting option for the company as well. I have long held the belief that the current system is outdated and doesn’t fit with the way the modern society view content, and Apple have the technologies to make this happen, including the popular Apple TV. They have also start work on producing their own content, ala Netflix and Amazon, along with creating their own radio channels on Apple Music.
The only problem with Apple though is their cross platform capability, coming down to the shortfalls in their own software solutions. The biggest smartphone platform Andriod with 80% marketshare worldwide doesn’t have Apple services, while the biggest desktop operating system only has access to iTunes.
Trusted F1 journalist Joe Saward reported, “Apple is on the verge of launching into the world’s automotive markets, with an electric car that remains a secret, although it is hard to hide such a project when you hire more than a thousand engineers to work on it.
“The Apple Car is expected to appear by 2020. Thus, there are three elements that would make the purchase of F1 a logical step of Apple. It can afford it, it can boost sales of Apple TVs and get people thinking about Apple in relation to cars.”
A company which can see the future of technology could make Formula One the most advanced sport on earth, not only from within, but in the way it is consumed too.