Elon Musk lashes out over Apple’s car ambitions; mocks Apple Watch, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil

“Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, has lashed out at Apple‘s ambitions to make a car that could rival his Tesla electric vehicles,” Hannah Kuchler reports for The Financial Times.

“Mr Musk said Apple had only hired Tesla engineers that the carmaker had fired, dismissing the idea they were important employees,” Kuchler reports. “‘We always jokingly called Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple,’ he told the German newspaper Handelsblatt as he toured Berlin. ‘I’m not kidding.'”

Musk “mocked Apple’s ambitions to build a smart car, laughing and saying: ‘Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?'” Kuchler reports. “Mr Musk said that for Apple, designing a car would be ‘the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation.’ Taking a dig at the products Apple launched last month, he said: ‘A new pencil or bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Elon, your nerves are showing. You’re not fooling anybody with your false bravado.

As for the “Tesla Graveyard,” you’re whistling past it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “David E.” and “Rayzor” for the heads up.]

73 Comments

    1. The Apple Watch is a sad joke (lets hope a car has less bugs and failures than this POS).

      Even though I love my iPads and was awaiting a true ‘Pro’ mobile tablet, the iPad Pro is just a giant iPad. The ONLY thing Professional about it is the exhorbitantly ridiculous pricing.

      Don’t get me started with Cook’s Apple Pencil, 😜.

      Musk stopped short of tearing into incompetent Tim Cook, you fanboys should be grateful for that.

      1. “Musk stopped short of tearing into incompetent Tim Cook, you fanboys should be grateful for that.”

        Three signs you’re reading the post of a total dick:
        – Still using the term ‘fanboy’
        – Insulting Tim Cook, the CEO of the most successful company on the planet
        – Use of numerous vague negative words without any factual back-up or logical thought

    2. You are forgetting something…

      Musk’s two most significant companies (he has major holdings in several) are Tesla and SpaceX.

      Guess who invested about $1 Billion (yes, with a “B”) in SpaceX this past summer?

      Yep, Google. (True, Google only put in $0.5 Billion directly, and a large financial house put in the other $0.5 Billion. But, who do you think made the arrangements for and backed that financial house to put in that large sum? Yep, Google. Therefore, it was really, for all intents and purposes a Google investment of $1 Billion in SpaceX.)

      Don’t you think it’s possible that a major investment by an Apple competitor in one of Musk’s companies may have an impact on what Musk thinks about Apple?

      So, with that in mind, it’s clear that Musk is not going to knock any electric car that Google may be doing and is going to knock any competitor to Google.

      1. Can’t wait to hear what Musk says about the Google car (or should that be the Alphabet Car) once it comes out.

        He who makes rockets that blow up shouldn’t be throwing stones.

      2. Recently, a former Boeing executive was added to Apple’s board. This exec worked at Rockwell before Boeing. Rockwell was involved in the aerospace industry and built things like the Apollo Command Module and the Space Shuttle. If Apple pursues space tourism, exploration, mining, etc. than this business would compete with Elon’s other space endeavors like colonizing Mars.

  1. All of Apple’s aside from Beats are relevant to me. When you can deliver an electric vehicle under $40000 come back and we can have a chat about relevance.

    1. You obviously don’t understand Apple at all. If they do an electric car, they definitely won’t be targeting the market under $40K, just as they don’t sell $200 netbooks or sell iPhones on BOGO sales.

      1. Of course I understand Apple. It is also true that neither theoretical vehicle would be relevant unless they can crack the $40K barrier.

        The most Apple will do in the near term is deliver a vehicle under $100K in order to gain sufficient volume to defray some capital costs. (They aren’t a charity either.)

      2. My understanding was that Shock Me was talking to Musk; not to Apple. Tesla can only become relevant if it delivers a car below $40k.

        As for Apple, it doesn’t need a sub- $40k car to be relevant; they are Apple, the most coveted brand in the world. Whatever they deliver will be relevant by default.

        1. critic2, Shock Me, and Pedrag, don’t understand Apple. Apple doesn’t make cheap junk, but they do make an excellent value for the money. Thus a <$40k car is very doable for Apple and it will blow the likes of Tesla and the big auto makers out of the water as they will not be able to give as much for as little. (same as with computing)

          Sure they will be able to undercut Apple and everyone will say "Apple is too expensive", but just as with smartphones and computers, when the cheapo electric cars hit the market, they will sell, but the coveted cars will be Apple cars, because they last longer, look better, are a better value for the money, the batteries last longer, are a joy to use, are safer, and they will have less bugs and cracked systems (which are fixed sooner when they do occur).

          The <$20k market will be the scraps that everyone else will be fighting for, large market share, but no profits. Lots of bugs and lots of crackers taking over systems. Let them have it. And the $80k+ market that Tesla shoots for will abandon Tesla in droves. Even the filthy rich like a good value for the money purchase, plus the Apple car will be way cooler than even a Tesla.

          Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if all this fuss about an Apple Car is just a lot of hot air.

          1. Well, cheap Kias, Hyundais and Chevrolets start at $20k. Decent cars are at $40k. I can’t see Apple selling anything below $60k. That would be same as if, in the mobile market (where cheap Androids are below $200, decent ones at $400 and iPhone is at $650) they were to sell the latest-model iPhone for $450 (instead of $650).

  2. Musk tells Apple that it’s very difficult to design and build a brand new car, but that’s exactly what the Tesla company did when it started out in 2003 with very limited financial resources and no history of building cars before.

    If Tesla managed to do it, why would Apple, with it’s long history of disrupting new markets, world class designers and with incredible financial resources not be able to bring a new car to market?

    Musk sounds as though he’s running scared and I think he has good reason to be scared too. Most conventional car manufacturers are exploring electrically powered cars. Tesla cars are very interesting, but expensive. Conventional car manufacturers will be encroaching into his territory from one direction, while Apple will be coming in from a new and innovative direction. Tesla may find itself boxed in and without an obvious market.

    1. If Apple buys talent with automobile backgrounds, I don’t see why they can’t build a decent vehicle. Of course, I don’t know exactly what type of vehicle Apple is building. It’s just that Apple has such vast resources i wouldn’t think they would screw up that badly. I just don’t quite understand why Musk would make such a statement about Apple. What’s the point? I’m sure there must be other new companies trying to design automobiles. Why didn’t Musk try to talk smack about Google’s autonomous vehicle?

      1. Apple doesn’t jump into crowded markets unless they’re bringing a compelling competitive advantage.

        If Apple ships an electric car, I’m going to sell Tesla short.

        -jcr

      2. Musk didn’t need to smack talk the Google Car because it’s another project like Google Glass that won’t amount to anything and it won’t impact on Tesla. On the other hand, Apple’s car plans could drastically affect Tesla, so it’s hardly surprising that Musk is getting angry.

        1. With Google investing so much into SpaceX, I don’t see any reason Tesla might not just turn around and pay licensing fees for Google Automated Vehicle tech.

    2. “while Apple will be coming in from a new and innovative direction.”
      Provided we like to accelerate by tapping our heads and sterr while rubbing our belly in a circular motion, all while sitting in the lotus position. 🙂

  3. Ironic now that Apple (much like Microsoft back in oh, the mid-90s) has all the dough and can supposedly crush Tesla (which is led by a charismatic chief, much like oh, Apple in the late 90s), that Mac Daily News doesn’t see what’s coming.

    1. It’s kind of funny, because I actually think that managing development of a car actually fits Tim Cook’s skill set better than some of the traditional Apple business, notably software and services. The non-physical products (aside from operating systems that make their products run) at Apple have been sub-par for many years, even when Steve Jobs was there.

      Tim Cook is a true genius when it comes to designing and managing physical supply chains, and that is what allowed Apple to make the money they do in selling precision manufactured physical hardware.

      The auto business, both design and manufacturing, is entirely about production, assembly and movement of physical product. If Tim Cook is overseeing, I am pretty comfortable with this project as a shareholder.

  4. Unheard of CEO trying to trash a non competitor. Maybe the people were fired because they weren’t yes men. If they were “fired” then don’t think Tesla can sue Apple to require that they share no Tesla information.

    1. Tim Cook runs the larger company by far, but we know him because we like Apple, tech, or finance. Musk is known because he’s Musk. Although Cook wields more power, I would venture to say more average people know Musk.

  5. Although I really admire Elon Musk and what he has done, he really should take time to reflect on all of the people who have predicted Apple’s failure over the years. For example:

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
    Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, 16 Nov 2006

  6. Are you kidding me??? Elon is lecturing Apple on manufacturing??? Tesla has been making cars for what, 3 or 4 years now? And only a few thousand a year. 7 years ago he didn’t know what the inside of an auto plant looked like.

    Apple has been manufacturing world class products in the billions for decades now. Elon’s sounding worried.

    1. Tesla probably would not have even gotten off the ground if it were not for the financial crisis and the restructuring of he auto industry at the time. After the GM/Toyota joint venture pulled out of the Fremont factory in 2009, Tesla was able to take it over for virtually nothing. They would never have been able to build a new factory from scratch with the cash they had at the time or even now.

      Apple, on the other hand…

  7. Hey Musky Boy…. you acquired a well established & iconic name … TESLA, and managed to make a single product, albeit a very good product, still your nescient experience in managing multiple initiatives simultaneously, or what it is that makes Apple Great is laid bare by your adolescent statements… Have some respect for your betters boy!

  8. Wasn’t it the Palm or Motorola CEO that said that you just can’t walk in when making a smartphone? Where are they now???
    Musk’s statement is just like deflate-gate motivating Tom Brady who is so competitive that he still physically crys when interviewed about not being drafted well out of Michigan. Musk is ticking off the wrong people.

    1. Nothing is forever… don’t think that Apple is too big to fail. They have been 90 days from bankruptcy before and will inevitably will be there again one day.

      Even Rome fell, as has every Empire that ever stood.

  9. My respect for Elon has dropped a lot. I guess he is just like everyone else. Weird that on one side he makes all parents public and encourages competition, and in the other trashes the company that is most likely to give him said competition.

    1. Two thoughts. I don’t know where “Handelsblatt” stands in the hierarchy of German newspapers. Second, The Financial Times reporter, Hannah Kuchler, is an unknown also. What was the original German-language text? Was it published in the German-equivalent of he National Enquirer? Was this a hit piece? Tesla gets their share of pump and dump stock manipulation, just like Apple.

      I like Apple and I like Tesla. These quotes seem very odd based on Musks history of supporting anyone who wants to move the ball forward in the charge toward electric transportation. He made all Tesla patents available to anyone without royalty. Maybe the engineers thing is painful to him or maybe it’s just a ruse to cover Apple and Teslas collaboration. One does not yet know.

      It doesn’t make sense for Apple to enter the $100K electric car space. Not much volume there and Tesla has already shown it can be done. The new frontier is the $35K space. Tesla is going there with the Model 3 in a couple of years. A good offering from Apple in that space, with Ive’s understated design sensibility (as opposed to this approach
      ) would be very desirable.

  10. Elon is another doubter like Steve Balmer and the rest. They doubted Apple could make a better MP3 player. They doubted Apple could make a better cell phone. They doubted Apple could make a better tablet. They doubted Apple could make a better super light weight laptop. They doubted the Apple Watch. Yea Elon, keep doubting and calling Apple products names. Keep denying that something better is coming. They all laughed until Apple released its products and then suddenly they weren’t laughing anymore. That’s what Elon is in for in the next few years. Laugh now but Apple will have the last laugh all the way to the bank.

    1. I was waiting to see a Balmer reference. When I was reading Musk’s comments, I was thinking that since Balmer is out of the business of slamming Apple, someone else has to the become the “clown”. I guess Elon decided to put on the wig and red nose!

  11. Well, I must agree that making a car could be a huge money pit for Apple. Worse, they could divert to many resources to it and stop innovating in the area they know best – personal technology devices. Apple would not be the first company to expand into a very different market and get burned – badly.

    Now, about that Apple store on Mars… anybody interested in being the first Apple Genius on the planet?

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