Don't bet on an outright merger between tech giant Apple and electric carmaker Tesla Motors, a senior tech analyst told CNBC on Tuesday, but expect Apple to bank on more collaboration with innovators such as Elon Musk.
The Tesla CEO represents the kind of "genius" missing at Apple since the death of Steve Jobs, despite a strong level of talent at the tech company, said Peter Misek, a senior technology analyst at Jefferies. His comments come two days after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Musk met with Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions last spring, citing unnamed sources.
Shares of Tesla reached an all-time high of $205.50 shortly after trading opened Tuesday, before prices settled slightly lower by noon. (Check out Tesla's real-time prices here)
(Read more: Apple looking at cars, medical devices for growth—report)
"I would put zero chance of a merger," Misek said on "Squawk on the Street." "But I would put a lot of chance on collaboration. ... [Job's] departure has left a big gaping hole even now with all the talent they have at Apple, so they would certainly look to collaborations and Musk certainly fits that bill."
Will Power, an analyst who covers Apple's stock at R.W. Baird, also thinks it's unlikely the tech company will acquire Tesla. Then again, he thinks the global auto market could "really move the needle" for Apple.
"I think what they're focused on right now is trying to get themselves more deeply embedded into the car and I don't think that necessarily requires actually making an acquisition," Power told "Street Signs." "I think getting the iOS software more deeply embedded in the infotainment systems really helps a long way in terms of improving that usability and the customer experience in the car by itself."