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Tesla's Elon Musk confirms talks with Apple, says acquisition 'very unlikely' at this time

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday confirmed that he had recently met with Apple and, while not giving away what was discussed, said an acquisition by any company is "very unlikely" in the short term.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk. | Source: Bloomberg via Getty Images


Rumors of a possible Apple-Tesla partnership swirled earlier this week when a report claimed Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica held a secret meeting with Musk last spring.

In a live interview with Bloomberg, Musk revealed that he had indeed talked with Apple, but would not confirm the contact as Perica and refused to say whether the discussions had anything to do with a possible acquisition. Speculation as to what the two companies discussed have ranged from deeper iOS integration to battery technology, the latter being an area in which Tesla excels.

Musk also hinted that Tesla may have been approached by more than one company last year, saying, "If one or more companies had approached us last year about such things, there's no way we could really comment on that."

When asked if he would be willing to sell Tesla, Musk at first seemed staunchly against the idea.

"I think that's very unlikely," Musk said. "When you stay super focused on achieving a compelling...creating a compelling mass-market electric car, I'd be very concerned in any kind acquisition scenario -- whoever it is -- that we'd become distracted from that task which has always been the driving goal of Tesla."

Pressed further, Musk said he would not rule out acquisition talks if it furthered Tesla's goal to bring affordable compelling electric cars to the masses. However, Musk does not see such discussions happening anytime soon.

"I don't currently see any scenario that would improve that probability," he said. "So that's why I think it's very unlikely."
post #2 of 46
Maybe they are just looking into a joint venture to develop better batteries. That is something that is relevant to both companies.
post #3 of 46
So basically, no new information. Other than Elon Musk saying, "yeah, I talked to Apple about stuff."

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post #4 of 46

"Mass market" he'll never get their alone. Interesting interview. 

post #5 of 46
I like this guy.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckalec View Post

"Mass market" he'll never get their alone. Interesting interview. 

In terms of creating a less expensive, electric vehicle for, say, under $30k USD I think Tesla an do it, but if you mean that he can't make electric vehicles appeal to the masses on his own that is true if only because all the other manufactures will be right there, but I think that Tesla and Musk, regardless of what happens, will be seen as the primary force behind what I think is an inevitable future for automobiles.

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post #7 of 46

Some kind of deal will come and Elon Musk should also enter Apple Board!

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I like this guy.

General Motors' then-Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said in 2007 that the Tesla Roadster inspired him to push GM to develop the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid sedan. In an August 2009 edition of The New Yorker, Lutz was quoted as saying, "All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us – and boom, along comes Tesla. So I said, 'How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can't?' That was the crowbar that helped break up the log jam."


I can think of another motived businessman that kept proving the incumbents wrong.
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/19/14 at 9:59pm

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post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckalec View Post
 

"Mass market" he'll never get their alone. Interesting interview. 

 

The way to the 99% begins with the 1%.

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John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 46

However, any sort of collaboration between the two companies will be great.

post #11 of 46

Apple should do everything possible to acquire Tesla.  That would be Apple's future right there.  Nobody could say a damn thing about Apple not having a future or any future growth.  Apple would be able to kill two birds with one stone and pick up Elon Musk as a bonus.  Investors won't touch Apple with a ten-foot pole but they start salivating upon rumors of Apple buying Tesla.  Go figure.  Easy money.  An acquisition like that would likely skyrocket Apple's share price to $700.  Nothing else can do it but acquiring Tesla definitely could and would.

post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 
The way to the 99% begins with the 1%.

 

Not in the car business. It begins with professional racing! :)

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post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckalec View Post
 

"Mass market" he'll never get their alone. Interesting interview. 

 

That depends on what you mean by "mass market" really.  But yeah, interesting interview.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

Apple should do everything possible to acquire Tesla.  That would be Apple's future right there.  Nobody could say a damn thing about Apple not having a future or any future growth.  Apple would be able to kill two birds with one stone and pick up Elon Musk as a bonus.  Investors won't touch Apple with a ten-foot pole but they start salivating upon rumors of Apple buying Tesla.  Go figure.  Easy money.  An acquisition like that would likely skyrocket Apple's share price to $700.  Nothing else can do it but acquiring Tesla definitely could and would.

 

Oh for f$%#'s sake.  Really?  Do you have any other tune but this one?

post #14 of 46
I'd guess that Musk wanted to get Apple to help them redesign their dashboard displays.
The physical display quality as well as the user interface and graphics.
I've seen quite a few Tesla Model S's at night on CA 101 and the displays aren't exactly pretty.
A $105k car should have really, really good displays and user interactions.

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post #15 of 46
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
I'd guess that Musk wanted to get Apple to help them redesign their dashboard displays.
The physical display quality as well as the user interface and graphics.
I've seen quite a few Tesla Model S's at night on CA 101 and the displays aren't exactly pretty.
A $105k car should have really, really good displays and user interactions.

 

Quoted because it needs seen again. Plenty to add, but it’s too late to whip out the mockups.

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post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post

Some kind of deal will come and Elon Musk should also enter Apple Board!
I second that
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

Apple should do everything possible to acquire Tesla.  That would be Apple's future right there.  Nobody could say a damn thing about Apple not having a future or any future growth.  Apple would be able to kill two birds with one stone and pick up Elon Musk as a bonus.  Investors won't touch Apple with a ten-foot pole but they start salivating upon rumors of Apple buying Tesla.  Go figure.  Easy money.  An acquisition like that would likely skyrocket Apple's share price to $700.  Nothing else can do it but acquiring Tesla definitely could and would.

Man, your APPL mantra pollutes every article with your comment on it. Can you change the tune from time to time?

post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
General Motors' then-Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said in 2007 that the Tesla Roadster inspired him to push GM to develop the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid sedan. In an August 2009 edition of The New Yorker, Lutz was quoted as saying, "All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us – and boom, along comes Tesla. So I said, 'How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can't?' That was the crowbar that helped break up the log jam."
 

I can think of another motived businessman that kept proving the incumbents wrong.

 

This is only start. Electric power plant simplifies everything so much, that you will see thousands of shop car businesses around the globe producing them as PCs. Big fat expensive german car industry is already shitting their pants, believe me. Oil you can still burn and get energy, but how can you sell too expensive car if a small or medium company can produce one? 

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So basically, no new information. Other than Elon Musk saying, "yeah, I talked to Apple about stuff."

Isn't that obviously huge? We are talking about a guy that has 100x the importance of someone like Steve Jobs. And he just confirmed the meetings.

 

That's huge.

post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

Apple should do everything possible to acquire Tesla.  That would be Apple's future right there.  Nobody could say a damn thing about Apple not having a future or any future growth.  Apple would be able to kill two birds with one stone and pick up Elon Musk as a bonus.  Investors won't touch Apple with a ten-foot pole but they start salivating upon rumors of Apple buying Tesla.  Go figure.  Easy money.  An acquisition like that would likely skyrocket Apple's share price to $700.  Nothing else can do it but acquiring Tesla definitely could and would.

And what is the importance of share price compared with products and the company itself? 0.

Go and learn how to count cards.

post #21 of 46

Telsa is one company I certainly Apple doesn't buy.

I'm sure they won't, Apple fortunately likes to make a profit on their products, independent of Gov support. :rolleyes:

 

This is likely a very overblown story, Apple is probably just involved in some addition to the Telsa.

post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post
 

Telsa is one company I certainly Apple doesn't buy.

I'm sure they won't, Apple fortunately likes to make a profit on their products, independent of Gov support. :rolleyes:

 

This is likely a very overblown story, Apple is probably just involved in some addition to the Telsa.

Do you even realize what you are saying? A single company entered the most difficult business that there is to enter, with a vision that wasn't shared by anyone. They advanced battery tech by 15 years (alone), they are building charging stations (alone), they are changing people's minds (alone) and they have made a beautiful, fantastic car that is praised and praised. They payed for those loans.

 

They are also at maximum capacity and way ahead of their own predictions.

 

You have to seed before you eat, if innovation is your goal. Not only that, most users here are more interested in defending a phone (and more, I know) company at all costs, even if that means using a pathetically small screen that diminishes the usability of everything that makes a smartphone smart, Musk is busy trying to build a house in Mars.

 

Apple should get closer to guys like him, investing in guys like him, instead of making these two BS statements:

 

"Our goal is to make the absolute best products at the lowest price points we can" Steve

"We admit we have more money than what we need to operate, so let's give it to the Icahns (dividends, buybacks, etc.) of this world instead of actually use it to something useful".

post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beluga View Post


I second that

 

**** no. I emphatically cannot stand this opportunist, schmuck.

post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
 

Do you even realize what you are saying? A single company entered the most difficult business that there is to enter, with a vision that wasn't shared by anyone. They advanced battery tech by 15 years (alone), they are building charging stations (alone), they are changing people's minds (alone) and they have made a beautiful, fantastic car that is praised and praised. They payed for those loans.

 

They are also at maximum capacity and way ahead of their own predictions.

 

You have to seed before you eat, if innovation is your goal. Not only that, most users here are more interested in defending a phone (and more, I know) company at all costs, even if that means using a pathetically small screen that diminishes the usability of everything that makes a smartphone smart, Musk is busy trying to build a house in Mars.

 

Apple should get closer to guys like him, investing in guys like him, instead of making these two BS statements:

 

"Our goal is to make the absolute best products at the lowest price points we can" Steve

"We admit we have more money than what we need to operate, so let's give it to the Icahns (dividends, buybacks, etc.) of this world instead of actually use it to something useful".

 

Off-line with other private groups we have discussed the Tesla deal and it's around battery and iOS integration. Apple isn't getting into the automobile industry other than to extend iOS to it.

post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

**** no. I emphatically cannot stand this opportunist, schmuck.
Huh? Who are you talking about?
post #26 of 46
Unless you're in to global warming BS I don't get what the big deal is about Tesla. It's not like they're the only company that knows how to build well-designed cars. Musk says Tesla will sell 35K cars this year and the stock jumps 10%. Can you say bubble???
post #27 of 46

Watch GM buy Tesla and ruin them like they have done to so many other good independent car companies.  

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Apple should do everything possible to acquire Tesla.  That would be Apple's future right there.  Nobody could say a damn thing about Apple not having a future or any future growth.  Apple would be able to kill two birds with one stone and pick up Elon Musk as a bonus.  Investors won't touch Apple with a ten-foot pole but they start salivating upon rumors of Apple buying Tesla.  Go figure.  Easy money.  An acquisition like that would likely skyrocket Apple's share price to $700.  Nothing else can do it but acquiring Tesla definitely could and would.

Let's edit Musk's comment as if it were voiced by Tim Cook.

"I think that's very unlikely," Cook said. "When you stay super focused on achieving a compelling...creating a compelling user ecosystem, I'd be very concerned in any kind of acquisition scenario -- whoever it is -- that we'd become distracted from that task which has always been the driving goal of Apple."

Get it, Odoo-Doo?

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post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

So basically, no new information. Other than Elon Musk saying, "yeah, I talked to Apple about stuff."

I don't know about that, there's something about the way he answered that sounds like he's hiding something. I like the interviewer here, she was very respectful but asking well worded questions.

He stated quite clearly that he can't give out insider information like this because Tesla is a publicly traded company. The rumor was not that he talked to Apple in general but he talked to Apple's acquisitions department, specifically Adrian Perica.

Tesla's losses have been $1b in its lifetime. Apple makes as much as $13b net in 3 months.

Apple has the resources to put out more charging stations and grow the company. They have a commitment to green technology and job creation. They need to invest for growth. Tesla needs cashflow. Apple has the software to control the in-car interface. They both have strong brands that sit well together and they both have a strong emphasis on industrial design.

They both have common technology components. Besides batteries, think of glass that has little resistance and high strength - it means no need for window wipers and little chance of stones chipping the windscreen and smudgeless, crack-proof iPhones. The door locking mechanism and ignition. Use your fingerprint to unlock and start your car.

The price is high at $24b but Apple spent half that on the stock buyback. Facebook spent $16-19b on Snapchat and if it's a merger, they don't have to use cash. They can convert Tesla stock into equivalent Apple stock. In other words, execute the remainder of the stock buyback but instead of retiring the shares, hand them to the Tesla investors. There's no difference but instead of it going into nothing, they'd have a company that they can grow internationally.

Tim Cook once said that all of Apple's products could fit on a single table. Well I say:

post #30 of 46
The deal would make sense only if Musk took over as CEO of Apple. Musk is the only CEO today capable of filling Steve Jobs shoes.
post #31 of 46
Elon Musk is the epitome of a serial entrepreneur. He has big ideas and develops companies to advance them, and once established HE LEAVES TO WORK ON THE NEXT IDEA. The idea that he would want to run a huge established company like Apple is a fond wish for some people, but strikes me as impossible. WIth regard to Tesla, Musk has only said that he will stay around until after their moderately priced car is on the market. Look for him to resign in 3 or 4 years.

Musk's caginess with the interviewer is very likely not about a merger proposal from Apple, but rather one from some other company like Daimler-Benz or Toyota (who both already have relationships with Tesla).

Apple using its stock as currency in an acquisition is a very bad idea and not going to happen. Companies use stock for acquisitions when their shares are overvalued. Facebook's recent acquisition is a perfect example. Apple's stock is undervalued and they have an excess of cash. If they do any acquisitions it will be with cash.
post #32 of 46

While I don't believe that Apple is going to acquire Tesla outright, there is one rationale for Tesla to be acquired that makes sense:    according to today's NY Times, the company has warned investors that there are going to be very high capital costs associated with its expansion.   

 

In addition to entering China and other Asian companies, Tesla plans to start making right-handed vehicles for the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

 

They say that the supply of battery cells is constraining production for the first half of 2014.

 

Plus they want to have the Model X start delivery by the spring of 2015 and then there's the rumored sub-$40,000 Model E (which, if ever happens, could be MASSIVE).  In addition, the company says they're going to give details shortly on the Tesla Giga factory, which will be dedicated to battery development (and manufacturing?)

 

All this requires tremendous amounts of capital that might far exceed what they can raise by the market.   So they might need to be acquired on have an investment made.  But obviously, Musk, like Apple, would want to keep their independence.   

 

So I could see a deal where Apple makes a substantial investment in Tesla and in return gets to use any advancements in battery engineering and also licenses Tesla a version of iOS for use in the dashboards instead of the current Android (?) -based UI (not that those unit numbers would ever be very high.)

 

And who knows, maybe an Apple-Tesla joint-venture of some sort also becomes a future AI/Robotics company as Tesla also has extensive experience with robots in the factory.

 

On the other hand, car manufacturing is a very low margin business - just the opposite of Apple and Apple does not like low margin businesses.   Tesla also operates its own factories and that's also not Apple's current model.   Tesla is still losing money and that's selling cars where the stripped-down model costs over $70,000 and an equipped model is about $115,000.     

 

My concern about Tesla is that while they pushed ahead with technology which everyone else said was impossible and they do make a quite beautiful car, they could get wiped out if someone develops a better energy technology: whether it's natural gas or hydrogen fuel cells, etc. and especially if it's a hybrid technology so that you're not solely dependent upon Tesla's charging stations and so you don't have to wait a half-hour or more to charge a car in the middle of a trip.

 

A large part of Tesla's marketing is the fact that it's a "green" car.   But is it really green when it comes time to dispose of the batteries?   

post #33 of 46
1) Are Apple's new facilities more "green" than Tesla's factories?

2) Could fuel cells, like the ones Apple uses, be involved as a replacement for the current battery tech?

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post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

The deal would make sense only if Musk took over as CEO of Apple. Musk is the only CEO today capable of filling Steve Jobs shoes.

I think people need to get past the notion that Tim Cook is a bad CEO. He has been running the company for 2.5 years now and that's more than his potential replacements have done. The CEO role is a distraction anyway. Imagine Jony Ive focusing on meetings, shareholders, lawyers and petty in-fighting with staff instead of design. Tim Cook is a receptive CEO and not the kind of blockade to innovation that someone like Steve Ballmer would be. He follows his staff from the front, same way Steve did.

As for filling Steve Jobs' shoes, these entrepreneurs have their own unique style and interests. Elon Musk certainly doesn't have a confident way of presenting his ideas:



He has an awkward presentation style. Plus he's into the space thing, which I don't really think would be of much interest to what Apple's doing. There's also the fact that he's not in the business of computers so why would he run a computer company? You don't just swap entrepreneurs from one field to another and expect it to work. It would be like saying take Jim Jannard from Oakley/RED and make him CEO now that he stepped down from RED. He doesn't know how to run a computer company. It's best to let them operate in their own field of interest.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think people need to get past the notion that Tim Cook is a bad CEO. He has been running the company for 2.5 years now…

Officially, give or take 3 years if you could the times he took over when Jobs was sick, and perhaps even more than that if we count the times Jobs was sick but still technically in charge even though likely not running the day to day.

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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
 

While I don't believe that Apple is going to acquire Tesla outright, there is one rationale for Tesla to be acquired that makes sense:    according to today's NY Times, the company has warned investors that there are going to be very high capital costs associated with its expansion.   

 

In addition to entering China and other Asian companies, Tesla plans to start making right-handed vehicles for the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

 

They say that the supply of battery cells is constraining production for the first half of 2014.

 

Plus they want to have the Model X start delivery by the spring of 2015 and then there's the rumored sub-$40,000 Model E (which, if ever happens, could be MASSIVE).  In addition, the company says they're going to give details shortly on the Tesla Giga factory, which will be dedicated to battery development (and manufacturing?)

 

All this requires tremendous amounts of capital that might far exceed what they can raise by the market.   So they might need to be acquired on have an investment made.  But obviously, Musk, like Apple, would want to keep their independence.   

 

So I could see a deal where Apple makes a substantial investment in Tesla and in return gets to use any advancements in battery engineering and also licenses Tesla a version of iOS for use in the dashboards instead of the current Android (?) -based UI (not that those unit numbers would ever be very high.)

 

And who knows, maybe an Apple-Tesla joint-venture of some sort also becomes a future AI/Robotics company as Tesla also has extensive experience with robots in the factory.

 

On the other hand, car manufacturing is a very low margin business - just the opposite of Apple and Apple does not like low margin businesses.   Tesla also operates its own factories and that's also not Apple's current model.   Tesla is still losing money and that's selling cars where the stripped-down model costs over $70,000 and an equipped model is about $115,000.     

 

My concern about Tesla is that while they pushed ahead with technology which everyone else said was impossible and they do make a quite beautiful car, they could get wiped out if someone develops a better energy technology: whether it's natural gas or hydrogen fuel cells, etc. and especially if it's a hybrid technology so that you're not solely dependent upon Tesla's charging stations and so you don't have to wait a half-hour or more to charge a car in the middle of a trip.

 

A large part of Tesla's marketing is the fact that it's a "green" car.   But is it really green when it comes time to dispose of the batteries?   

 

I'd advise Apple to put $0 investment into Tesla. Apple only invests in companies they can leverage IP to make products.

post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

The deal would make sense only if Musk took over as CEO of Apple. Musk is the only CEO today capable of filling Steve Jobs shoes.

 

You truly don't know what Steve Jobs did and haven't a clue what it takes to be that CEO. Elon Musk is a fad.

post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I don't know about that, there's something about the way he answered that sounds like he's hiding something. I like the interviewer here, she was very respectful but asking well worded questions.

He stated quite clearly that he can't give out insider information like this because Tesla is a publicly traded company. The rumor was not that he talked to Apple in general but he talked to Apple's acquisitions department, specifically Adrian Perica.

Tesla's losses have been $1b in its lifetime. Apple makes as much as $13b net in 3 months.

Apple has the resources to put out more charging stations and grow the company. They have a commitment to green technology and job creation. They need to invest for growth. Tesla needs cashflow. Apple has the software to control the in-car interface. They both have strong brands that sit well together and they both have a strong emphasis on industrial design.

They both have common technology components. Besides batteries, think of glass that has little resistance and high strength - it means no need for window wipers and little chance of stones chipping the windscreen and smudgeless, crack-proof iPhones. The door locking mechanism and ignition. Use your fingerprint to unlock and start your car.

The price is high at $24b but Apple spent half that on the stock buyback. Facebook spent $16-19b on Snapchat and if it's a merger, they don't have to use cash. They can convert Tesla stock into equivalent Apple stock. In other words, execute the remainder of the stock buyback but instead of retiring the shares, hand them to the Tesla investors. There's no difference but instead of it going into nothing, they'd have a company that they can grow internationally.

Tim Cook once said that all of Apple's products could fit on a single table. Well I say:

 

Keep fantasizing. Apple is not interested in being a Car Manufacturer. What an asinine idea.

 

Apple does not need Tesla's battery IP. It's got equivalent IP.

 

Tesla is hosed due to the Big 3 Oil Conglomerates who patented and shelved all Lithium-Ion large scale battery designs. It's the reason Tesla has so many goddamn small batteries in their car.

 

Teslas announcing it's 55% increase in total sales is saying they've sold a little over 30k S models. Big deal.

 

By next year, Tesla, will be stomped by Audi, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari, never mind Mercedes and the rest.

 

Musk is looking to dump his company.

 

He's using web leaks to raise it's position.

post #39 of 46
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

By next year, Tesla, will be stomped by Audi, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari, never mind Mercedes and the rest.

 

Are any of them even in the preliminary stages of making an electric vehicle?

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post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Are any of them even in the preliminary stages of making an electric vehicle?

BMW i3: http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/vehicles/2014/bmwi/default.aspx#intro

Mercedes B-Class: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/future/model/model-B_Class_Electric_Drive

Mercedes Fuel Cell B-Class: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/benz/green/electric_car

...etc...

 

But having said that, I, personally, am not into a short range vehicle. Where does the electricity come from anyway?

 

And, as "mdriftmeyer" said: "Musk is looking to dump his company." Take some profits in the next couple years, unless he can get Google or Apple to buy him out.

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