Elon Musk Stories August 5

After Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson writing an Elon Musk biography

Walter Isaacson ran into controversy when he wrote his lengthy biography on Apple cofounder Steve Jobs a decade ago. But that apparently hasn’t deterred him from tackling tech guru bios, as he is now writing an Elon Musk biography …

Elon Musk Stories July 30

In the process of denying he asked Tim Cook to be CEO of Apple during an alleged conversation about a Tesla acquisition, Elon Musk has turned his attention to Apple’s App Store, saying Epic Games is right and that Apple holds a “de facto global tax on the Internet.”

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Elon Musk Stories July 26

Tesla today reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, as detailed by our colleagues over at Electrek. During the accompanying earnings call this afternoon, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a pair of jabs at Apple, criticizing the company over its App Store policy as well as its use of cobalt in iPhone and Mac batteries.

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Elon Musk Stories June 2, 2016

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Never one to shy away from provocative opinions, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the Re/code conference that Apple may have left it too late to compete effectively in the autonomous car field. He also said that not all companies exploring the idea appreciate the scale of the undertaking.

I think they should have embarked on this project sooner. I don’t think they’ll be in production sooner until 2020. Is that too late? […]

The sheer scale of automotive manufacturing is hard to imagine until you see the plants. The size of the industrial infrastructure is astonishing.

He did, though, wish Apple luck …

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Elon Musk Stories January 11, 2016

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During an interview at Tesla’s design Studio in Los Angeles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on Apple’s rumored electric vehicle program, codenamed “Project Titan“. It was hardly the first time the CEO commented on the project, but it always interesting to hear about the possibility of Apple bringing an electric car to market. This time Musk called the project under-development an “open secret” and agreed that Apple is “serious about it.” expand full story

Elon Musk Stories October 27, 2015

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While we can’t say for sure that an Apple Car will ever go on sale, it’s a certainty by this point that the company is devoting substantial development resources to the project. Tim Cook said recently that there would be “massive change” in the car industry, and that “autonomous driving becomes much more important.”

But as a recent opinion piece on sister site Electrek argued, and Elon Musk warned, actually manufacturing a car is massively more complex than making consumer electronics devices. Apple will therefore be looking for partners to pull together different elements of the car. Re/code has put together an interesting look at the most likely candidates …  expand full story

Elon Musk Stories October 19, 2015

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San Francisco-based Mission Motorcycles, a maker of high-end electric motorcycles, recently filed for bankruptcy amid financial troubles. In the filing, current CEO Mark Seeger said the company is so low on cash that it can’t afford to pay for an attorney for the bankruptcy process, but while recently talking with Reuters, former CEO Derek Kaufman dismissed the company’s lack of money and instead blamed Mission’s demise on Apple’s poaching of top engineers… expand full story

Elon Musk Stories October 9, 2015

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, reacts to a reporter's question following the electric automaker’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, Tuesday, June, 29, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Yesterday we reported on comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. The CEO, known for speaking his mind candidly on occasions, made comments that could easily have been interpreted as critical to the design of the Apple Watch and the quality of the company’s hires from Tesla, but Friday afternoon Musk took to Twitter to soften those comments. expand full story

Elon Musk Stories October 8, 2015

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Apple’s so-called “poaching war” with Tesla has been a hot topic for the company’s CEO Elon Musk and in a recent interview, Musk fired even more shots at Apple. Speaking to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Musk voiced his lack of concern regarding Apple’s tendency to hire Tesla engineers and executives. Musk is recently finished a trip around Europe, speaking with politicians and Tesla employees.

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Elon Musk Stories May 13, 2015

Tesla has taken its recruiting of Apple employees to the next level: the electric car and energy company has hired away Apple’s Senior Director of Corporate Recruiting, Cindy Nicola, to become Tesla’s new Vice President of Global Recruiting. Nicola has already noted her new role and start month of May on her LinkedIn profile.

Notably, Apple actually hired away Tesla’s Lead Recruiter in 2014 for its own electric car project, as we noted in our extensive profile of Apple’s automotive related hires. Interestingly, that former Tesla recruiter Lauren Ciminera has already left Apple to work on a new “confidential” project, according to her own LinkedIn page and confirmation from a source…

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Elon Musk Stories May 6, 2015

Apple's car team

Apple’s car team

Speculation regarding Apple’s plans to build an electric car has been at an all-time over recent months. Earlier this year, we broke down the team that Apple has assembled to work on its car, several members of which were poached from Tesla. In Tesla’s Q1 2015 earnings call, however, CEO Elon Musk commented on Apple’s alleged electric car plans and the poaching war that has been ongoing between the two companies.

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Elon Musk Stories February 5, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6XS6HE178I] Former Apple Mac Engineer Doug Field gives our Seth Weintraub a test drive of the new P85D 

Perhaps annoyed by Tesla’s persistence in picking off its engineers, Apple is attempting to win over some of the electric car maker’s employees with signing bonuses of a quarter-million dollars and salary increases of up to sixty percent, Bloomberg revealed today.

Pick a color, any color! @teslamotors #tesla #teslamodelS

A post shared by Gody (@gody) on

Teslas parked at Apple’s Campus

In the past, Tesla has managed to poach a significant number of Apple’s designers and engineers for its own products—more than 150, according to Bloomberg. Some employees have pointed to Musk, who is often compared to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, as one of the key factors in their decision to jump ship. Perhaps that’s why so many seem to be jumping ship to work at Tesla?

But it seems Apple is ready to get back some of those workers. Musk says that Apple “tries very hard” to lure engineers back to Cupertino, but has had very limited luck so far.

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Elon Musk Stories September 11, 2014

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Good news and bad news for Tesla Model S owners: the iOS and Android apps have been updated to allow you to start the car without a key – but the matching firmware update needed by the car hasn’t yet arrived.

Version 2 of the iOS app also provides support for the new calendar function, where the car can pull in data from your iPhone calendar and offer to navigate you to the location – as well as providing several new alerts …  expand full story

Elon Musk Stories August 20, 2014

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Tesla Motors, known for changing the automobile industry with its innovative electric cars, will update its Model S firmware in the coming months to allow owners to start and drive the Model S with only an iPhone. While it isn’t yet exactly certain how this will work, there is speculation that it will involve Touch ID and may coincide with the launch of iOS 8 next month. The above screenshot of Version 6 is said to be in late beta stages and being finalized for full rollout now.

Tesla’s iPhone app won our 2013 app of the year and the ability to start the car and drive it would continue down that same innovative road.  Other systems for starting a car and driving it from a mobile phone already exist for 3rd parties like Viper and others.

Tesla has been busy snapping up Apple employees over the past year. Only weeks after poaching Apple Mac Hardware Vice President Doug Field to run Vehicle Design, Tesla snapped up Director of Manufacturing technology Rich Heley. Then security researcher Kristin Paget joined in February. Also, much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was also spotted at Apple last year and while speculation was that Apple was considering a buyout (shot down) or becoming an investor in Tesla’s battery Gigafactory, perhaps Musk was simply looking to better integrate the iPhone with his cars.

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Elon Musk Stories July 29, 2014

Much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple (Video)

Javier Verdura, Director of Product Design and Project Management for Tesla Motors pulls back the curtain on Tesla design during a recent RKS Sessions design talk. While the talk and Q&A is mostly focused on the physical design of the vehicles,Verdura answers a question about the GUI design briefly at 29:14, queued above, in which he notes that Tesla’s UI design team is largely made up of Apple alumni.

Verdura next talks about the design process and how everything goes through CEO Elon Musk at the end – something that should remind people of how Steve Jobs’ Apple worked.

Whole talk here.

Elon Musk Stories March 2, 2014

There’s no real hard news at this talk given by Elon Musk this week but it is certainly interesting to see the back and forth with the iPhone Engineer (Evan Wong? Didn’t quite get the name) and the CEO of Tesla. Apple is of course rumored to be an investor in Tesla’s battery Gigafactory so that makes the conversation all that more interesting. Some notes:

  • The engineer manages a big part of the hardware development of the iPhone.
  • Apple is one of the biggest buyers of batteries along with Tesla and they’ve done a lot of thorough testing
  • Chemistry, material, packaging and process affect  battery life constant.
  • Tesla buys 18650 form factor batteries and is sticking to them.
  • When musk asks about the energy density, the engineer knows not to say anything (he says he doesn’t want to get sued by his employer – to many laughs from the audience).
  • Musk assumes the battery energy density is public domain because of teardowns
  • Musk says in high production they can get to 260Wh/KG at the lowest price per kW which might be good info for those looking at the Gigafactory specs.
  • Apple likely can’t use these cells in their products because they are 18mm thick, much thicker than many of Apple’s products – or so speculates Musk

More of the conversation here. expand full story

Elon Musk Stories February 16, 2014

Those ongoing analyst predictions that Apple would buy Tesla may have been based on some sort of reality.  According the the SF ChronicleAdrian Perica, Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring.

A source tells The Chronicle that Perica met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant…

Six months before Ahmad’s letter, Musk met with Perica and probably Cook at Apple headquarters, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business relationships. While a megadeal has yet to emerge (for all of its cash, Apple still plays hardball on valuation), such a high-level meeting between the two Silicon Valley giants involving their top dealmakers suggests Apple was very much interested in buying the electric car pioneer.

But it is unlikely that Apple wanted to buy the car company and even more unlikely that Musk would sell it. In response to the acquisition rumors at the time, he tweeted the following:

But it’s highly likely that Apple would want to buy into one of Tesla’s major upcoming projects.

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Elon Musk Stories November 21, 2013

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Fortune is out today with its annual Businessperson of the Year list and this time around a couple notable Apple connections have made the list. Coming in at #4 behind #1Elon Musk, activist investors, and Tencent CEO ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng, is Apple’s recently hired Head of Retail, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendtsexpand full story

Elon Musk Stories October 24, 2013

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As noted by Electrek, Doug Field, who most recently served as Hardware Vice President at Apple, has defected to Tesla Motors to lead the company’s vehicle engineering programs. Field will lead the development of Tesla’s future cars, according to a release from Tesla. Field worked under Dan Riccio (and previously Bob Mansfield) on computers like the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac. Before Apple, Field was the Chief Technology Officer at Segway.

“Doug has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products, including what are widely considered the best computers in the world,” said Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO. “Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world. Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”

It is unclear if Apple plans to fill the void left by Field or if this will have a negative impact on the iPhone and Mac maker. In today’s announcement, Field says that “until Tesla came along, I had never seriously considered leaving Apple.” Field says that he left Apple to take up the opportunity to build “the best cars in the world.” A source says that Field left Apple last month.

The full press release from Tesla is available below:

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