Thought on Apple and Formula One

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Interesting piece from Joe Saward, longtime Formula One blogger:

The suggestion last week that Apple may be discussing the acquisition of the Formula One group has led to a lot of interest and a lot of opinion. Traditional technology people argue it would never happen because it’s not the way Apple works. The company buys small clever companies and use the technology under the Apple brand. They don’t need the kind of advertising that F1 provides. So why would they buy it? The answer, it seems, is not to do with advertising, but rather with sales. Apple has built its empire on the iPhone and the iPad. The company has sold 800 million iPhones and, as a result, is now the biggest company in the world. But sales are slowing gradually and competition is increasing and Apple is following the Steve Jobs philosophy and looking for new ideas which reinvent the way we live.

I am relatively new to Formula One, but I am definitely a fan and totally get the attraction. The Formula One cars are attractive, fast, powerful, incredibly high tech and, at the same time, incredibly fragile. There’s big money pouring into the sport and there’s an opportunity for Apple to buy the whole thing, to funnel an entire sport through Apple TVs.

Heineken recently entered F1 believing the sport will bring it 200 million new customers. OK, it’s beer, but if Apple saw similar potential, the impact could be dramatic. AppleTVs cost $200 each, but selling 200 million of them could generate $40 billion. With such vast numbers, one could imagine Apple being willing to perhaps even consider broadcasting the sport free-to-air, and generating money only from the sale of the devices.

Fascinating read. I’d love this investment for Apple.

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Khürt Williams

Khürt Williams is Principal for Monkey Hill, LLC, a Skillman, New Jersey based information security governance, risk and compliance consultancy. He's also an avid landscape photographer, and *nix geek.