10 years after Apple axed 'Computer' from its name, Tesla tosses 'Motors'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2017
In a move that carries some parallels to the company formerly known as Apple Computer from a decade ago, Tesla on Wednesday announced it will no longer be known as Tesla Motors, signaling that it is more than just a car company.




It was at the Macworld conference in January of 2007 that Apple cofounder Steve Jobs revealed his company was renamed Apple, Inc., saying that the name Apple Computer no longer reflected the products it offered.

At the time, Apple was riding high on the success of the iPod, sales of which had far eclipsed the Mac. But just a day before the Apple rebrand took place, the company unveiled another new product category that would have an even far greater and lasting impact than the iPod: the iPhone.

The one-two punch of the iPhone debut and Apple dropping Computer from its corporate branding signaled to the world that the company's future was not tied to the Mac.




Now, 10 years later, Apple's revenue stream is dominated by the iPhone, selling 78.3 million handsets in the last quarter alone. The Mac is still important, selling a strong 5.4 million units, but its sales are nowhere near the popularity of the iPhone.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Tesla, but given its $2 billion acquisition of SolarCity in late 2016, and its battery producing Gigafactory set to reach full production by 2018, it's clear that founder Elon Musk sees the company as far more than electric vehicle maker.

Not dissimilar from how Jobs knew Apple's future didn't lie in traditional computers.




The change also allows Tesla to differentiate itself from "legacy" automobile makers in the U.S., all of whom mention automobiles in their own corporate names: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

As Tesla looks beyond automobiles, the company has been on a recruiting spree, taking key talent away from Apple. Most recently, Chris Lattner, who spearheaded the Swift programming language, left for Tesla, as did Mike Casebolt, the mechanical engineer responsible for the original MacBook Air enclosure.

For its part, Apple has explored moving even further beyond computers, and is rumored to have invested considerably into "Project Titan," a top-secret automotive project within the company. Reports have varied on whether Apple will bring a full-fledged car or just self-driving vehicle technology to market, but either would directly compete with Tesla (n?e Motors).

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,242member
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 2 of 14

    Tesla was even more slavish in its copying of Apple.  Just as Apple Computer became "Apple Inc." (no comma), Tesla Motors changed to "Tesla Inc."  (Note to IA editors, omit the comma.)

    SpamSandwichcali
  • Reply 3 of 14
    tmay said:
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    Ah, so there will be a Tesla Motors division within Tesla Inc.? That makes sense. Like Google within Alphabet.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    I am impressed with those roofing photovoltaic tiles  of his. 
    edited February 2017 dedgeckoSpamSandwichlostkiwi
  • Reply 5 of 14
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    tmay said:
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    Are you sure about that?  Tesla is publicly traded and Space X is private.  If Tesla acquired Space X, there would have been some regulatory filings and news headlines.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 14
    I am concerned by Tesla's delay in releasing an updated pro desktop model. Very worrying.
    lostkiwiaaronjcityguidesuddenly newtonwatto_cobracali
  • Reply 7 of 14
    "Tesla Energy" would have been a nice alternative. But I like just "Tesla".
  • Reply 8 of 14
    tmay said:
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    Since SpaceX is still privately held, this could be a way of protecting all of the companies in case something happens to Musk?

    EDIT:  There appears to be no proof that SpaceX is now part of Tesla.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/01/tesla-motors-inc-is-now-officially-tesla-inc/?ncid=rss
    edited February 2017 randominternetpersonjSnivelypscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 14
    I'd love to see a source on the claim that SpaceX is part of Tesla, as I'm 99.9999% sure that is not true [, because it doesn't make any legal sense].
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 14
    tmay said:
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    Since SpaceX is still privately held, this could be a way of protecting all of the companies in case something happens to Musk?

    EDIT:  There appears to be no proof that SpaceX is now part of Tesla.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/01/tesla-motors-inc-is-now-officially-tesla-inc/?ncid=rss
    The SpaceX website provides ample proof that it's not part of Tesla:  "SpaceX is a private company founded in 2002 by CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk. The company has more than 4,000 employees at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California; launch facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; a rocket-development facility in McGregor, Texas; and offices in Houston, Texas; Chantilly, Virginia; and Washington, DC. SpaceX has suppliers in all 50 states; see our SpaceX Supplier/Contractor Policy here."
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 14
    I am concerned by Tesla's delay in releasing an updated pro desktop model. Very worrying.
    The excitement is gone after Steve died.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 14
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I thought it was a always just "Tesla". 

    I am concerned by Tesla's delay in releasing an updated pro desktop model. Very worrying.
    The excitement is gone after Steve died.

    FUCK NO. 

  • Reply 13 of 14
    Maybe Apple should change its name to Apple iPhone Inc. That's what Wall Street calls Apple. To the Street, whatever product makes the most money for a company that's what they consider the company to be. At one time I think Apple was being named as Apple iPod Inc. I suppose when a company lives and dies based on a single product that's how it's considered to be.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,080member
    tmay said:
    Tesla is the umbrella name now for all of his holdings, including Space X. This is a well thought out change.
    Powerwalls, Solar shingles, etc.  Comparing it to Apple is a little... unnecessary.  
    boxcatcher
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