Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Shots at Apple During Earnings Call

During a Tesla earnings call that took place today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent time sniping at Apple, reports CNBC. Musk criticized Apple's "walled garden" and made comments on the company's cobalt use.

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In a discussion about plans to allow Tesla competitors to use the Tesla electric vehicle charger network, Musk said that Tesla does not want to create a walled garden to "bludgeon" Tesla competitors, alluding to Apple's App Store practices.

"I think we do want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy," Musk said in response to a question about letting competitors use its charger network. "It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies."

Musk then faked a cough and said, "Apple."

Apple's iOS platform is often referenced using the term "walled garden" because it is a closed platform that Apple has full control over. Apple dictates what software can be installed on the iPhone and requires companies to use its ‌App Store‌.

In a discussion about Tesla's batteries, Musk again referenced Apple without being prompted to do so. Musk said that people mistakenly believe that Tesla uses a lot of cobalt, which is required for the lithium-ion battery cells used in electronic devices, but it's Apple that uses the most cobalt.

"Apple uses I think almost 100% cobalt in their batteries and cell phones and laptops, but Tesla uses no cobalt in the iron-phosphate packs, and almost none in the nickel-based chemistries," Musk said. "On a weighted-average basis we might use 2% cobalt compared to say, Apple's 100% cobalt. Anyway, so it's just really not a factor."

Apple does indeed use cobalt, which has in the past been linked to human rights abuses. Apple does, however, maintain a list of all of its cobalt smelters and refiners, and audits them regularly. In 2020, all of its cobalt suppliers were audited.

Apple and Tesla have had minor disputes in the past, stealing employees from one another as Apple pushes into the electric vehicle market. Back in 2015, Musk famously called Apple the "Tesla Graveyard." "If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple," he said.

More recently, Musk claimed that he had attempted to speak with Apple about a possible acquisition of Tesla at one point in Tesla's early days, but Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to meet with him.

Top Rated Comments

oghowie Avatar
15 months ago
I'd probably have a Tesla if they had CarPlay on it. Open that platform Elon.
Score: 100 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
15 months ago
Something about stones and glass houses......
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IamTimCook Avatar
15 months ago
Same guy that called British rescue workers in Thailand "pedos", just because they shot down his ridiculous mini submarine rescue plan. Freaking billionaire nut jobs.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/15/elon-musk-british-diver-thai-cave-rescue-pedo-twitter
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brandon42 Avatar
15 months ago
Wall garden you say? So is he saying that Tesla will let me plug my Chevy Bolt in at a Tesla Supercharger?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
15 months ago
Listening to Musk is mostly a waste of time..

If he's not pumping up dog and bit coins, he's usually promising things he can't deliver.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
15 months ago

Get em in now. Apple might take your lunch if all the other car manufacturers don’t first.
I don’t know him personally, but I’m pretty sure Elon isn’t concerned about Apple in any shape or form.

Tesla and Space X are far from BlackBerry
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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