Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms talks with Apple, says acquisition is unlikely at this point

By Justin Kahn ยท 15 replies
Feb 20, 2014
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  1. After wide speculation surfaced recently regarding Apple being interested in acquiring electric car company Tesla, CEO Elon Musk has recently been publicly quoted saying that this is not the case, sort of.

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  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Unrelated observation: Ever notice that tech blogs cover everything Tesla related but hardly ever cover developments with non-EV brands in spite of other offerings having just as much (or more) technology?
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    Well, Elon has said that he considers Tesla a tech company, not a car company. If the tech blogs agree, that would explain their favoritism. It also helps explains why their stock is so high. Yesterday investors were talking of a crash (again). They say its' way over-valued and when comparing it's margins and earnings to BMW and Ford etc, it should be trading at less than half of what it is. (their stock didn't crash yesterday, it went up 7% overnight after their earnings were reported better than expected.)

    But compared to tech companies it's not so crazy. Tech companies lose money while they grow and no one freaks out. Twitter has yet to turn a profit and no one is freaking out about it being over valued.
  4. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I think Tesla falls into a tech category because the Non-EV cars are viewed more as mechanically oriented technology. (Dynamic cylinder deactivation, constant velocity transmissions, direct injection, etc.) Maybe Godzilla (Nissan GT-R) is packing more tech-related stuff in it than a Tesla? But hey, Tesla's have a cool tech interior with totally digital center console. And the life of the combustion engine is finding power in abundance so they are focusing more on efficiency where the pure electric car is still something of the design of techie / future dream.

    Apple's going to find someone to partner with in a car design. And it's going to be a slick design that's out of people's price range. That's my guess.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    Most vehicles in that segment (and certainly above it) pack more techno juice than a Tesla...And that's really my point. Outside of the power source, a Tesla is no different than any other car on the market. In terms of computer tech and engineering, it's completely ordinary as a mid-range luxury car and as a performance vehicle it's technologically boring, considering the degree of computer engineering that goes into cars like the GT-R and the more recent McLaren P1 (among others).

    It seems to me that many of these blogs are missing truly fascinating content for no reason other than the fact that Elon Musk has designed the world's prettiest battery pack.
    9Nails and cmbjive like this.
  6. If apple somehow managed to acquire Tesla in the near future, there will be patent wars between apple/tesla with many vehicle manufacturers because apple/tesla has patented their iCar/iTesla design as "four wheeled vehicle in a form of sedan with integrated hi-tech device inside" LoL
    mosu likes this.
  7. OliTheG

    OliTheG TS Member Posts: 61   +27

    Well, given that they have a patent for a phone with "a thin profile" and "a look of simplicity" and "a rectangular screen" (that is the actual language used, it's bewildering) and are currently in the process of patenting fake email generators that have existed for 10 years, I genuinely wouldn't be surprised.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,269

    I'll just cross Apple equipped cars off my list of future vehicle purchases.
    mosu likes this.
  9. I hate Apple products like the next man, Not to mention the company, but would almost certainly rather have them in my car than anything Android related, that should tell you how much I like Google to claim to like Apple more. This comment of mine will be sure to gain a few 'angry' responses, but to stoke the fires some more, Google ranks about as high on my list as Will smiths Character ranked to his boss (Sykes) in the movie Shark Tale, and I quote: **Clears throat**
    "I'm getting there, I'm getting there... There's coral, there's rocks, there's whale poop, and then there's you."
  10. If Apple buy Tesla then its the end of a great company.
  11. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    I think a lot of it also has to do with Elon Musk. He's a tech guy, not a car guy... he came from Paypal. He's also half a celebrity. He's done cameo's in Iron Man and he has other companies like whatever that space rocket thing is he does. Tesla has a cool name, cool logo, they have things called Super chargers... they're basically the perfect storm for a media frenzy.

    They're also a bit of an underdog, and people like underdogs. Other small car companies haven't done so well. They can't beat the big companies with years of experience in safety and reliability. But Tesla's are safe, and they've gotten near perfect reviews from consumer reports and the like. People love stories about the little guy who's extremely talented who rises up and beats the big established player at their own game. That's why Tesla is so popular in the blogs. They're a good story.
    9Nails likes this.
  12. stbecker

    stbecker TS Rookie Posts: 32

    This is more of a reach than building a watch or a gaming system, but it does show how Apple is interested in expanding revenue with the next great idea (even if already in production). Apple products just work and with a simplicity such that my 5-yr old can successfully navigate across different devices. I imagine that is exactly what what people are looking for in the automobile industry.

    As for Tesla, they've found their niche. With the ball rolling (paying off their loans, expanding production, etc) watch for Telsa to expand their market base. And by that I mean a less-expensive base model that is within the reach of a larger consumer base. They haven't done so yet because their production couldn't effectively monetize a larger demand -- shoot, there are still thousands who've paid to wait in line for the "luxury" variants.

    The most common misconception I've seen with Tesla is comparing their vehicles to other manufacturers in a completely different price range. Understand the difference between a $70-$100K Tesla Model S and a $1M McLaren P1. My laptop has roughly the same CPU frequency as Tianhe-2, but the latter supercomputer also has over a million cores and cost about $400 million -- probably not the best comparison to make.
  13. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,731   +3,749

    The price range, target market, and function of the actual products are only relevant if we're talking about reviews (hence why a $900 56" HDTV gets seriously reviewed and a $24,000 86" UHDTV does not). The final products are not comparable, but their technology absolutely is.

    The quantum gap between a Model S and a P1 is precisely what I was highlighting. Consumer computers and multi-million dollar supercomputers both get pretty balanced coverage in the techsphere and the majority of tech blogs will go the extra mile to inform their readers how impressive those $400 million behemoths are. Where there is a significant development, it is covered. The same cannot be said of their coverage of automotive tech. As mike pointed out, most of this probably has to do with Musk himself.
  14. "The most common misconception I've seen with Tesla is comparing their vehicles to other manufacturers in a completely different price range. Understand the difference between a $70-$100K Tesla Model S and a $1M McLaren P1..."

    I don't think you read his comment carefully. In case (if) you missed it, he clearly (read: literally) pointed out what he's trying to say at the first line.
  15. Hasbean

    Hasbean TS Booster Posts: 110   +27

    iCar, expensive rehash of existing technologies. Every gas station will have a queue of Apple fanboys waiting for the next version iGas. Forget about trying to start the iCar without iTunes. You'll need to jailbreak it so you can turn without signalling.
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I could never see Apple buying a car company.

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