CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — Could Apple be branching out into cars? Looking for the next big thing, the merger and acquisitions chief, Adrian Perica, met with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk last spring, according to sources talking to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Apple’s smartphone and tablet sales have slowed as the devices saturate the market, so investors are always looking for the next big thing.

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An analyst last October fanned the flames of acquisition speculation. Adnaan Ahmad with Berenberg wrote an open letter to Apple Chairman Arthur Levinson and CEO Tim Cook, suggesting the radical idea that Tesla is the right vehicle for Apple’s growth, leading to revenue opportunities that could lead to innovation well beyond computers, phones, and tablets.

CNET reports Apple is already working to integrate its iOS into car dashboards, making an announcement last year at WWDC. It also has a deal with Ferrari for infotainment, using Siri’s voice software and iPad minis for the passengers.

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Tesla public relations managers are not commenting, and Apple hasn’t responded to the Chronicle, nor to CBS SF partner CNET.

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READ MORE IN THE CHRONICLE: Besides Cars, Apple Is Exploring Medical Devices And Heart Attack Prediction