Today, Apple and Tesla are not competitors. Nevertheless, that could change since we know that the Cupertino company is interested in electric cars. And during a conference on financial results, Elon Musk did not fail to tackle Apple… twice!
As reported by our colleagues at CNBC, the boss of Tesla made a comment about closed systems, alluding to Apple. When the question of the compatibility of Tesla chargers with the products of its competitors came up, here is what Elon Musk said: “I think we want to stress that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy. “
“It’s not about creating a walled garden and using that to bludgeon our competitors, which is used by some companies”, he then added. The term “walled garden” or “enclosed garden” is regularly used by the American press to describe Apple’s closed system, over which it has total control in terms of compatibility. Currently, this model is being questioned, especially after the Fortnite affair.
Strained relationships for a long time?
Elon Musk also referred to Apple in a discussion about batteries. He wanted to explain that Tesla uses little cobalt. But at the same time, he also took the opportunity to criticize the Cupertino company.
“Apple uses, I think, almost 100% cobalt in its batteries, cellphones and laptops, but Tesla does not use cobalt in iron-phosphate packs, and almost none in nickel-based chemicals. “, Musk said. “On a weighted average basis, we could use 2% cobalt versus, say, Apple’s 100% cobalt. Either way, it’s really not a factor. “
As a reminder, some cobalt mines are associated with human rights violations. But if Apple uses cobalt for its products, it ensures that all its suppliers have passed an audit in 2020.
In any case, these statements by Elon Musk show how strained relations are between the two companies. In 2015, Musk had already called Apple “Tesla’s graveyard”. “If you don’t succeed at Tesla, you go to work at Apple”, he had declared. Looking at electric cars, Apple had recruited former Tesla employees.
And in 2020, on Twitter, Elon Musk said: “During the darker days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting. “