Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Apple Is “The Tesla Graveyard”

OCT 9 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 56

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

German newspaper Handelsblatt published portions of an interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

When asked to discuss Apple, Musk made it rather apparent that he doesn’t think too highly of the the world’s second-largest information technology company by revenue and the world’s largest technology company by total assets.

One answer from Elon is particularly critical/negative of Apple. When asked how Musk felt about Apple hiring away Tesla’s “most important engineers,” Musk fired back this response:

“Important engineers? They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the “Tesla Graveyard.” If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

Musk was then asked to discuss Apple’s entry into the electric car segment. He jokingly responded “did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?”

Musk even questioned the relevancy of some of Apple’s newest products like the iPad Pro and Apple pencil.  According to Musk, a bigger, better iPad and a new take on a pencil are “not relevant enough.”

As for Apple’s ability to build a car, Musk stated:

“You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.”

Actually, you can go to Foxconn and ask for precisely that.  Foxconn’s recent focus has been on investing in electric car production, so it seems the iPhone maker does (or soon will) have the ability to build or contract out the production of electric cars.

This is far from the first time that Tesla has taken a shot at Apple (Click here for other Tesla/Apple articles). Remember the announcement of the Tesla Model W on April 1, 2015?  Here it is in its entirety:

Announcing the Tesla Model W

April 1, 2015
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 1, 2015 – Tesla today announced a whole new product line called the Model W. As m

any in the media predicted, it’s a watch. That’s what the “W” stands for.

This incredible new device from Tesla doesn’t just tell the time, it also tells the date. What’s more, it is infinitely adjustable, able to tell the time no matter where you are on Earth. Japan, Timbuktu, California, anywhere! This will change your life. Reality as you know it will never be the same.

Warning, current version requires wrist strength of an Orangutan.

Studies have shown the Model W will dramatically improve your health. If you work out. And it’s available in platinum!

No longer will you need to rudely examine your phone to read text messages. Now you can politely stare at the tiny screen on your wrist without anyone noticing.

Tesla Model W Case Study

This is in no way a competitive response to what some other company is doing.

And here’s an image of the Tesla Model W (yes, it was announced on April Fool’s Day, but still…)

Tesla Model W

Tesla Model W

Source: Handelsblatt via MacRumors

Categories: Apple, Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

56 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Apple Is “The Tesla Graveyard”"

newest oldest most voted

“Important engineers? They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the “Tesla Graveyard.” If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

If you are a Musk fan then you must read the book “Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance.

In this book it describes what it takes to be an engineer at Tesla or SpaceX.

In order to work for Elon you must be ready to work 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Don’t like it? Don’t apply…..so Elons statement does not surprise me one bit.

So how come Apple can ship millions of units on time and Musk is two years late…

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-modelx-launch-questions-20150930-story.html

Yes, cars are different beasts but Musk should focus getting his house in order before trash-talking a giant with $200bn in the bank ready to enter the EV/car space.

His hubris and arrogance won’t help him (and this interview should put all the “Apple buying Tesla” rumors to rest once and for all).

Some people have a right to hubris and arrogance, though certainly he could exhibit those qualities if he wanted.
Cars are not iphones. Sheesh.

I suppose it is not enough that his company has produced the best car of all time in just a few short years, and no one else has anything to even compete with the Model S.
Enjoy the bliss…

” Enjoy the bliss…”

I wouldn’t be the first.

Musk is either in denial or scared having to engage in trash talk years before they will unveil and ship their entry into the sector:

Is Tesla’s Elon Musk in denial about Apple?

http://fortune.com/2015/10/09/apple-tesla-denial/

Read the quotes. There’s a pattern.

“Some people have a right to hubris and arrogance”

Not when they are burning billions of $ and in need to tap third parties and Wall Street for (financial) assistance again soon.

Quotes such as these can and will bite Tesla whenever credit gets tight or Tesla has troubles executing.

There’s no room for error (Model X and 3 delays) given Tesla’s cash burn, balance sheet and two huge bonds outstanding.

Musk simply impresses me. When you’ve started multiple companies, made yourself and many others fabulously wealthy, created the best car ever on the planet, then I have cut the guy some slack.

You, on the other hand do not impress me, as anything more than a neigh sayer parroting objections that they (Tesla) are burning cash. Yes they are, at a time when interest rates are at a history low, near zero, Tesla is borrowing money. Give me a break.
Out.

Well said ffbj!

“(Tesla) are burning cash. Yes they are, at a time when interest rates are at a history low, near zero, Tesla is borrowing money.”

Piling on more debt in ZIRP environments and failing to deliver in important milestones (Model X car launch and possibly Model 3). What could go wrong?

Adding more debt and leverage is very, very risky, especially for a carmaker at this stage.

Tesla is at the mercy of Wall Street and they could implode based on their debt levels if Wall Street pulls the plug one day (especially once ZIRP is over and/other another recession hits).

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Wall Street Journal published this just yesterday:

“How Tesla Leaves its Rivals Playing Catch Up”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-tesla-leaves-its-rivals-playing-catch-up-1444327842

+1

Er… Horses neigh whilst people who don’t agree with you say “Nay!” – a bit like being pooh-poohed. Horse-pooh if you like! MW

tftf said:

“There’s no room for error (Model X and 3 delays) given Tesla’s cash burn, balance sheet and two huge bonds outstanding.”

Hmmm, given that all three of Tesla’s car models were months or years late going into production, and given that Tesla is still seen as a highly desirable company by stock investors, I’d say there is quite a lot of room for Tesla to make errors and still be a successful — and rapidly growing! — company.

As for the ability to raise money, Tesla’s recent 2% stock dilution was over-subscribed, and the stock price went up after that mild dilution! Dilutions are nearly always followed by a drop in stock price.

Obviously, tftf, stock investors in general don’t agree with your negative assessment of Tesla’s future.

At the present time the Model S and its supercharger infrastructure would for sure go on no matter what happen to Model X, Model 3, Tesla or Elon. Someone or another company would go on with it because everything is in place, factory, product and market demand. It has its own lasting “technotope” now and the crank past oil is set once and for all. Only a better ev could replace it which would further strenghten the set move instead of stopping it.

Sounds like a good job for talented, cheap, young engineers without families. Probably a good place to get a start, learn a lot, and then move on to something better.

The people who put in the most hours aren’t necessarily the best people.

Or get passionate about changing the world and stay.

There are other places to work if you’re passionate about changing the world.

Elon’s comments reveal a great deal about his personality.

So do yours.

Yup. And so do yours.

Other than reading that book, have you worked for Apple or know of people that worked there?

Apple wants more than just long hours from you.

Made in China Apple car? Hope it’s cheap enough to be easily replaced. I personally have been to the Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Tianjin.

Long hours at Tesla? Note that Apple had suicide nets installed on some of its Chinese sweatshop factories.

And get paid about $300 per month at apple suppliers.

As I’m sure you know, Apple doesn’t own any factories in China. The factories that build Apple products in China are contracted by Apple to build its products. These same factories build products for many other companies, not just Apple. Apple has done more to attempt to improve working conditions at its contract factories than other companies using these same factories, but China and the owners of these factories are ultimately responsible for its workers and for their salaries.

How convenient.
But so irresponsible.

So, you’re arguing that Apple bears no responsibility for the poor working conditions or low wages in the sweatshop factories where its products are made?

“Pilate… sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!'”

— Matthew 27:24 (New Living Translation)

To work for Musk is very much like what it was to work for Steve Jobs.

Apple used to be brilliant but without Jobs they are just another good company. They can improve and refine existing products but new products like the Apple Watch are questionable at best and utterly lacking in taste.

The Apple Car? It will probably be a good EV but far from the game changer Apple would need to break into the auto market. A little overpriced and under-engineered. If it is imported from China then it will be an epic flop.

I don’t believe it will be built in China but Apple have surprised me with some boneheaded moves lately. As Steve Jobs would say, there has been a bozo eruption at Apple!

It will be intetesting to see what the “Graveyard” does at Apple…

Hmmm. A creative Halloween costume comes to mind. An Apple zombie walking around in a Tesla graveyard.

Tesla manufactures the cars here in the US.

Apple manufatures most if not all of their products outside of the US.

Crapple.

Your comment would make sense if ANY consumer electronics were actually made in the US. The only computer I know of that is made in the US is the…Mac Pro! Yeah, Apple are the only company that makes a computer in the US.

However if they do make a car in China for import to the US then I’ll be reaching for a barf bag.

Except that a car is not an electronic gadget. You will have to pay for one car the shipping fees of the volume of several thousands of iPhone, plus the weight premium. Better be built on this continent.

Perhaps you aren’t aware, but a large number of cars are manufactured abroad and shipped locally. And even those that aren’t are mostly assembled from internationally produced parts.

Of course I am. What I say is a car built in China will cost more for the transport than if it was built here.

I love when Elon trash talks. It makes observing the SpaceX and Tesla adventures much more fun. Remember this one? “Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct.” – on ULA and Blue Origin’s chances of building a vehicle that could take humans to ISS within 5 years.

You guys should check out the article over at MacRumors. They’re currently at over 400 comments and the general feeling from them is that Elon is somehow scared of Apple and it’s alleged electric car! Fan boyism at its finest!

*Full Disclosure: I own Macs, iPhones and an iPad.

MacRumors was an interesting site before the iPhone took off. Now it’s a disgusting fan boy cess pool filled with right wing tools and business dorks.

I’ve used Macs since the 80s and still worship at the alter of OS X – but IMO Android is a bit better than iOS in many ways. I still have an iPhone for better integration with my Macs but for a reader tablet it’s Android all the way. What’s really funny is that it’s easier to transfer files from my Mac to Android than from my Mac to an iPad, lol.

Yes, I’ve noticed that. Not only are some of what the commenters say cringe worthy, but even more cringe worthy is the number of likes they get! These days I read the MacRumors comment threads for the entertainment value more than anything else. I can almost predict what will be said too.

My parents have been using Macs since the 80’s and I made sure they stayed like that despite my sisters best efforts. For awhile, I had to use PCs for the engineering software, but with OS X, bootcamp, and the return of engineering software on the Mac, I went back in 2008 and never looked back.

That’s interesting about the Android tablet. I never would’ve expected that. I’m still eyeballing that iPad Pro though. If I ever leave Apple, it would probably be for a truly open source ecosystem akin to Ubuntu. For now, I’m neck deep in Apple’s ecosystem and not terribly motivated to leave it.

Scramjett said:
“Not only are some of what the commenters say cringe worthy, but even more cringe worthy is the number of likes they get! These days I read the MacRumors comment threads for the entertainment value more than anything else. I can almost predict what will be said too.”

So it’s kind of like the InsideEVs comment threads in any Mirai news story. 😉

Scramjett said: “You guys should check out the article over at MacRumors. They’re currently at over 400 comments and the general feeling from them is that Elon is somehow scared of Apple and it’s alleged electric car!” Well, Elon ought to be scared of the idea that Apple might enter the EV manufacturing business. There are very few companies in the world with the cash and the tech savvy to wrest the leadership of the EV revolution away from Tesla. But Apple actually does have the cash, and unlike legacy auto makers, they wouldn’t be cannibalizing their own gasmobile sales by making and selling compelling EVs in large numbers. If Apple wants to do so, it will almost certainly wrest the EV leadership from Tesla within, say, seven or eight years. Maybe even very slightly less. (But obviously not by relying on Foxconn for manufacturing!) Certainly Apple can ramp up production faster than Tesla has, because Tesla has been constrained by limited capital to invest in growth. However, Apple won’t be able to move into the EV manufacturing business and immediately take the lead, as it did with smart phones and the iPhone. Throwing more money at ramping up auto… Read more »

In 7 or 8 years that would be past the Model 3, it would be past the ev big bang on the market. Actually by then the ev business will start to be routine and almost boring. Also by then Space X will start to be in the serious business of getting to Mars or the Moon which has a stronger economic forcing function due to the fact that a fortnight holiday is possible there plus a bunch of other bonuses, but well Elon can’t know it all. Anyway by then space colonization will become much more interesting and it could well be that Elon feels pleased that others are moving on in the ev field. Elon also stated that he would like to retire on Mars and since he is 45, in 8 years that will only leave 7 years to prepare his departure and make sure that Tesla is taken care of by someone or another company in order for him to be able to make that big jump on the red world. So Apple could become a convenient partner.

With Apple offering a $250k bonus to steal Tesla engineers, I think Elon is lying that they only get people Tesla fires. No way they offer a bonus that big to someone Tesla’s already fired. Of course, when Tesla finds out someone is thinking of leaving for Apple, maybe they preemptively fire them so they can make the Tesla graveyard claim without technically lying…? Either way, I have little respect for Apple who purposely leaves out huge features with each evolutionary release of their product just so they can get everyone to pay premium prices to upgrade to each new version. They release a new OS for “free” each year and make it non-backward compatible with hardware over 2 years old so everyone is constantly throwing away perfectly good hardware to buy the latest thing. All their crap is very bad for the planet – mining and transporting and refining materials to build complex gadgets only to trash them in two years. On the other hand, Tesla is single-handedly forcing an EV revolution that is critical to fixing climate change and they even offer upgrades on previous models instead of forcing people to trash them and buy a new car.… Read more »

I pretty much agree with that and its tone too.
Musk can be brusque and dismissive at times, personally I think it is integral to the drive and personal specifications and rigor he applies to his own life.
When he does not see it displayed in others, either employees or the competition, he can be tactlessly honest in his assessments of those individuals or companies.

‘They release a new OS for “free” each year and make it non-backward compatible with hardware over 2 years old’

You must be spouting anti-Apple falsehoods rather than owning 2-year-old hardware whose operating systems can’t be updated to the current version. I’m typing this reply on my 7-year-old 2008 MacBook running the very latest Mac OS X operating system version, 10.11 El Capitan, with little obvious performance degradation. My wife’s 5-year-old iPad is running the latest iOS version, 9.0.2, but it is running more sluggishly than it did on its original operating system, iOS 4.

I usually buy a new Apple device when the operating system on my current one can no longer by updated, but these devices are far older than 2 years old in direct contradiction to your false assertion.

There’s so much wrong with this comment it’s difficult to know where to start.

You mean Apple, the company that perfected the outsourcing and tax evasion scams that now permeate so many corporate cultures?

Apple simply isn’t the same without Steve Jobs and is slowly losing its edge.

The same tax deals (not scams, all companies use the deals in Ireland etc.) and outsourcing already were in place when Steve Jobs was CEO. Tim Cook was in charge of the supply chain back then.

Oh, and remember the backdated options when Jobs was CEO?

If anything, Cook as CEO made the company more friendly towards investors, suppliers (labor rights and supply chain checks for ethics) and the environment since 2011.

Well tftf, besides the fact that you only bash Tesla here on IEEVs, you misread my post about Apple.
I said that Apple “perfected” outsourcing and tax evasion scams (and they are scams), not that they started them. Also, I have family in Ireland and not every corporation uses Ireland to avoid taxes.

Whatever happens on down the line, all this Apple Car talk is no doubt helping to build a fire under the butts of traditional car companies.

It should. With Apple you have a company with more cash in the bank than the entire market cap of GM, cash which I’m sure GM has long ago burned up. (just like Elon is accused of doing) Hey, dudes the auto industry is very capital intensive.

With $200 Billion in the cookie jar, Apple can buy a lot of engineering talent.

Apple may soon enough find out though that building cars is not like writing a one-time software program for a 3D printer, then just sitting back to watch the cars get automatically made.

But, to actually avoid the unpleasantries of manufacturing, I’m sure Apple plans to shift the vast majority of the pain to the Chinese who will be sweating blood to make the Apple Car happen. We wouldn’t want to see any Apple software engineers wandering around the Campus with real grease on their hands, now would we ?

Was it really necessary to say this ?? It coudn’t be good for business.

There’s a story told about Hannibal, the famous Carthagenian general*. The story goes that his brother Hasdrubal was defeated in battle by the Romans, who then beheaded Hasdrubal and threw his head into Hannibal’s camp. The story goes that Hannibal’s subordinates were so fearful of his wrath that none dared tell him of his brother’s death. Instead, they broke the news to him by rolling his brother’s head into his tent!

I wonder if working at Tesla is a bit like that? Because clearly someone should tell Elon to think before opening his mouth (or tweeting), but apparently no one dares to. I’m not saying that overall that means Tesla must be a bad place to work. But I rather suspect morale in Tesla’s Public Relations department must be pretty low…

Accoring to quite a few news reports, Apple and Tesla are poaching each other’s employees. Someone needs to remind Elon that “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

*The story was told to me by a friend who’s a military history buff. I don’t know if it’s actually true or not, but either way it illustrates my point nicely.

Quoting the article: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [quoting Elon Musk:] “You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.” Actually, you can go to Foxconn and ask for precisely that. Foxconn’s recent focus has been on investing in electric car production, so it seems the iPhone maker does (or soon will) have the ability to build or contract out the production of electric cars. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [end quote] No, Elon knows of which he speaks here. He was in on the rocky early days of Tesla, which was started with the idea of building cars like Silicon Valley builds computers. It was painful learning experience with a steep learning curve. No, you can not build cars like computers. Mass producing automobiles in high volume is nothing like making consumer electronics, which is a light manufacturing process. Making cars is heavy manufacturing, requiring billions of dollars invested in factories and manufacturing equipment, and years to ramp up production. Apple won’t be able to develop an “iCar” in stealth the way they did the first generation iPhone! If Apple doesn’t realize this, if they think that a company like Foxxcon, with no experience in (or equipment for) mass producing cars,… Read more »

+1 Spot on! I really don’t know why everyone is so certain that is what Apple is doing. If you look at the information carefully enough, then it is clear they are working on vehicle technology (likely for autonomy and integration with other electronic devices i.e. smartphones) and NOT trying to build cars.

Maybe it is true, but is it really a good to poke at Apple who pretty much got the most cash in the world and can just end up buying up all the Tesla engineers if it chooses to.

In Sillicon Valley, there are very little “loyalties”, if you pay people enough, they will switch jobs at lunch hours.

Also, plenty of tech company hold grudges where if someone quits or leaving for other company, they would “fire the person instead”. But at the end, it really doesn’t matter.

Nokia, BlackBerry and Motorola were dissmissive of Apple entering the phone business as well.

Musk strains credibility here, and comes across as less than classy. The thing about Musk is that he is a True Believer, with little shame, who will say almost anything to advance his pet causes. Therefore, it’s always important to take what he says with a large grain of salt–while most of it is great, and true, some of it is just crazy.

I love musk, he is a brand genius:

“buy an apple car? No, it’ll be rubbish designed by tesla rejects and made in a sweat shop.”

I’m thinking apples car / business model is a threat to tesla, how exciting.

I am a huge Apple fan, but do I have doubts about Apple’s plans here. It took a lot for Tesla to get to its current level of success and a big bank account can help shorten that learning process by only so much. That being said, if the rumors are true about Apple considering the i3 as a base for the project, perhaps Apple will only focus on vehicle/drive interface and autonomous driving electronics (which seems closer to their strengths) and leave the core vehicle manufacturing to others.

I do enjoy Elon’s smack talk as their is usually more than a kernel of truth to it–his Foxconn comment is spot on.