How Apple Thrived After Not Buying Tesla

A while back, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that he had “reached out to Tim Cook” about buying his company. Obviously, that never happened. A missed opportunity for Apple? Liam Denning, writing for Bloomberg News, doesn’t think so.

Is Cook kicking himself for not buying Tesla when he had the chance? I suspect that, in some well-appointed office deep inside the Apple Park donut, the soft thud of self-kicking is not to be heard. Musk may well have “reached out.” On the other hand, the gossamer-veiled dig at Cook’s apparent short-sightedness contained in the Tesla CEO’s tweet suggests this may be more about taking the shine off Apple’s rumored vehicle ambitions. Musk has been known to lash out on Twitter. There is also some history here, given Musk once dissed Apple as a “graveyard” for defecting Tesla employees. That was a few years before he apparently reached out to the chief gravedigger.

Check It Out: How Apple Thrived After Not Buying Tesla

11 thoughts on “How Apple Thrived After Not Buying Tesla

  • You stay classy Elon:

    “Tesla’s new holiday update will finally give people the ability to use a new Boombox mode, which can broadcast custom audio on the outside of the car (hence the name). As is common with new Tesla features, Boombox combines real utility with lowbrow humor: owners can use fart and goat sounds in lieu of normal, boring honking sounds car horns usually make.”

  • What a lot of excited people, but not Tim Cook, seem to miss about Tesla: They don’t really have a moat to keep the competition permanently at bay. All they really have is cult-like customer loyalty. Apple has a moat: Its exclusive operating systems for the iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Mac. This allows them to tailor their hardware to their operating systems and thus reach levels of performance and integration unattainable by any competitor. (This is not news.) That said then, Apple will never enter a product market where they do not have a secure moat.

    Apple will only enter the car market if they are sure that they have a secure moat to protect them. The easy best guess is again, an exclusive operating system, or whatever its equivalent for automobiles, and the tight integration with hardware that exclusivity allows. What this means is they will drastically redefine what a ‘car’ is from a highly sophisticated general purpose wheeled platform that happens to be computer-assisted to a highly sophisticated general purpose computer that happens to be on wheels. In the end though, this is just idle speculation on my part; I know just as much about Apple’s plans as everyone else outside Apple’s top brass.

  • Yeah, Musk on twitter needs several grains of salt. But Musk in charge of Apple, had he gone ahead and overtaken current management, would have been problematic. One thing we can learn from Tesla cars is Musk has lots of big ideas, and lots of salesmanship to will them into being, but the actual execution is either of no interest to him, or he delegates it to incompetents, or both. Tesla still has a long ways to go before their quality control rivals, say, Ford, much less the cars in its price range. So they are really not going to be a realistic option until they get their manufacturing in order. Imagine applying that theory to Macs. What would you have? Dell.

    1. Yea he’s launching rockets and remanding them when all the governments of earth failed to. Also you’re wrong on quality. He is down in the depths. He built the first major auto line for volume in over 50 years in about 2years. Apple can’t build a single iPhone in the us and relies on communists. So please spare me.

      1. Not interested in an argument. Try googling ‘Tesla quality control problems.’ You will get a flood of hits, many on Tesla forums from owners who love their cars but can’t figure out why they have so many problems…
        maybe his rockets are better than his cars.

      2. You’re missing the point. He ramped up a production line capable of 500k units a year in less than a year. Something no other company could do in over 50 years in the auto industry. There will be growing pains. Apple can’t produce a single iPhone in the untied states.

        Try again.

  • This happened. And cook made the right move. Because if he brought in Tesla, he would have been kicked out of apple in a year and replaced by musk that has more vision and innovation in his pink than cook would after 1million reincarnated lives (he’s walking Ambien).

    Of course, there is a better than fair chance Musk wouldn’t care about computers and phones at this point, and just milked apple to build cars and solar stuff and bore holes and neural links etc. But if he had even a tiny interest in phones and computers, he would have moved things way way way more forward.

    Musk is more innovative and talented than even Steve Jobs. Steve could handle the computer world, and was ok as a high level manager with entertainment at Pixar, but musk is way way more deeply talented and varied.

    Interesting to see that alternative reality. Oh yea, and cook sucks. He’s a modern day John Skulley with a bigger wallet. AR glasses will be a make or break for him and Apple. If he does well there, all his lame deep pipelines are forgiven. If not, he was a pipeline grifter.

  • IF this ever happened, and remember Musk has a history of spouting whatever BS comes to mind on twitter…
    (Who does that remind me of???)
    …it was nothing Apple would have been interested in. At the time Apple’s own car plans were in an early stage, and there was some question if it would even end up as a vehicle or an add on for other companies vehicles. They could not have used Tesla at that point.
    In addition Tesla had been losing money as fast as they could. They had never turned a profit. There was no financial upside to Apple acquiring a money losing business with lots of outstanding liabilities and obligations.
    So IF the exchange ever happened, the timing was all wrong and so it was doomed from the start.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.