Elon Musk takes jabs at Apple during Tesla earnings call

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 26
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took two potshots at Apple during a quarterly earnings conference call on Monday, noting the batteries in his company's cars use less cobalt than devices made by the tech giant.

Musk


Musk referenced Apple when questioned about Tesla's supply chain, specifically the use of cobalt -- a mineral whose mining is often linked to human rights abuses -- in lithium-ion batteries, reports CNBC.

"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 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."

Though not considered a "conflict mineral" by U.S. standards, cobalt is sometimes linked to child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Apple in 2016 came under fire for allegedly buying batteries from a Chinese manufacturer that sourced its cobalt from an offending producer in the DRC.

Apple, along with Dell, Google, Microsoft and Tesla, were sued in 2019 for allegedly doing business with battery suppliers despite knowing that cobalt used in the production of purchased parts was mined by children.

For its part, Apple says audits the source of conflict minerals and removes smelters and refiners unwilling to participate in third-party audits from its supply chain. In a disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year, the tech giant said 100% of cobalt suppliers agreed to audits.

Musk later in today's call took a crack at Apple's so-called "walled garden" approach to hardware and software.

When asked about allowing competitors to use Tesla's Supercharger network, Musk said, "I think we do want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy. It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies."

He gave a fake cough and said, "Apple."

Apple is under scrutiny for its strict enforcement of platform policy. App Store fees, rules against third-party storefronts and monopoly issues are at the heart of a high-profile lawsuit lodged by Epic Games and fall afoul of proposed U.S. legislation targeting Big Tech.

Musk has a rich history of lobbing chaffing comments at the iPhone maker. In 2015, more than a year after rumors claimed Apple was in talks to buy Tesla, Musk in an interview downplayed the threat of a so-called "Apple Car" and rebuffed claims that Apple poached important engineers for the secret automotive project.

"Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired," Musk said at the time. "We always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard.' If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."

Last year, the Tesla and SpaceX founder revealed that he once reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook to gauge interest in an acquiring the electric carmaker. Cook declined the request. Apple is still rumored to be moving forward with its branded car initiative.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,632member


    Last year, the Tesla and SpaceX founder revealed that he once reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook to gauge interest in an acquisition. Cook declined the request.

    Yeah, I kinda doubt Apple would be interested in being acquired by Tesla.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 45
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 802member
    Wall garden (cough) can we load our own software on a Tesla or sell software on the Tesla?  Just curious. Not that I’d want to. 

    For those of you fighting against the Apple “walled garden”, you do want unvetted software running on your car don’t you?
    h4y3sroundaboutnowbaconstangmattinozAlex_VhcrefugeeArchStantonqwerty52thinkman100000000retrogusto
  • Reply 3 of 45
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,010member
    If nothing else, it’s entertaining.  But maybe, just maybe, it’ll stick in Apple’s craw enough that they will push even harder on their supply chain and rethink the use of cobalt in their battery design.  Would be great if it also lit a fire under their collective bellies to knuckle under and push the elusive Apple car across the finish line.
    h4y3sflyingdpDontmentionthewarlordjohnwhorfincaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 45
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,072member
    Really Elon, walled garden?
    Yeah so Apple’s chargers are already compatible with competition. Apple allows a Tesla app on their AppStore, but your car does not allow CarPlay. How’s that for a walled garden… Mr. Cybertruck armored glass  :D
    radarthekatJFC_PABeatsuraharaapplguyp-dogroundaboutnowflyingdpbaconstangKTR
  • Reply 5 of 45
    I wonder how much money Apple gets from the US government from subsidies? 
    baconstangAlex_Vemcnairthinkman100000000lordjohnwhorfinronncornchipStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 45
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 
    edited July 26
  • Reply 7 of 45
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 623member
    How much does his car batteries weigh again? “Two percent” of a half a ton plus (1200 pounds for the X)  is a tad more than any iPhone battery in existence. 
    BeatsGabydrdavidhcrefugeeronnbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 45
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,527member
    tomasulu said:
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 

    Well Apple has allowed knockoffs that violate their patents.
    qwerty52watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 45
    uraharaurahara Posts: 585member
    JFC_PA said:
    How much does his car batteries weigh again? “Two percent” of a half a ton plus (1200 pounds for the X)  is a tad more than any iPhone battery in existence. 
    How many more devices has Apple sold than Tesla sold their cars?
    caladanianbyronl
  • Reply 10 of 45
    GabyGaby Posts: 176member
    eightzero said:


    Last year, the Tesla and SpaceX founder revealed that he once reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook to gauge interest in an acquisition. Cook declined the request.

    Yeah, I kinda doubt Apple would be interested in being acquired by Tesla.
    Perhaps it’s not written particularly well but you have grossly misinterpreted the statement. Tesla reached out to Apple to see if they were potentially interested in purchasing the auto maker, when they were financially really struggling - around the time they were trying to get the model 3 into production - if memory serves correctly. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know how sincere musk was about the whole thing but anyway…
    edited July 26 watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 45
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,714member
    With Musk's history of making bats**t crazy and unfounded statements I'd take his comments on Apple's use of Cobalt with a big grain of salt. As for the rest, well he does have a history of bats**t crazy and annoying statement so...whatever. While I like what he's done with Tesla and SpaceX he is really the biggest liability those companies have. 
    p-dognapoleon_phoneapartdrdavidOferAlex_VtmayAI_liaslordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 45
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,072member
    tomasulu said:
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 
    Don’t know how you make that assumption. Much of Apple’s hardware is compatible with third party including AirPods, iPhone, Apple Music, iCloud, Pages, Numbers, even Swift is open source. Actually new MacBooks don’t even have any proprietary connections, the charging port is usb c. 
    tmaymike1ronnrandominternetpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 45
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Elon really had the temerity to use the phrase "walled garden"?!?!

    $700 vs. $1600 repair - and hopefully Tesla doesn't screw the guy by blacklisting him from the supercharger network: 


    What a farce.  They can't even get body panels to match, interior trim properly secured - windshields that don't leak.  Ha!  Apple at least has excellent fit and finish!  They may share same shitty right to repair issues but at least the vast majority of Apple stuff is well under $10K - nothing like getting hosed on $50K plus cars!
    drdavidemig647KTRqwerty52rotateleftbytelordjohnwhorfinkurai_kagewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 14 of 45
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 780member
    tomasulu said:
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 
    Kinda like how Apple doesn't let people use iTunes and Apple music on anything but iPhones? 

    Oh, wait.
    ronncornchiprandominternetpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 45
    jdwjdw Posts: 993member
    DAalseth said:
    With Musk's history of making bats**t crazy and unfounded statements I'd take his comments on Apple's use of Cobalt with a big grain of salt

    Any child labor issues with salt mining, though?  ;-)
  • Reply 16 of 45
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,476member
    Just bought a Bolt, couldn’t stomach putting a dime in this jerk’s pocket. 
    rotateleftbytetmaybloggerbloglordjohnwhorfinronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 45
    KTRKTR Posts: 165member
    Really Elon, walled garden?
    Yeah so Apple’s chargers are already compatible with competition. Apple allows a Tesla app on their AppStore, but your car does not allow CarPlay. How’s that for a walled garden… Mr. Cybertruck armored glass  :D
    and every one remember his tweet. Doesn't he use and Iphone? hmmmmm. 



    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 45
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,630member
    tomasulu said:
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 
    Apple contributes or creates Open Source/standards when it suits them.... and doesn't when it gives them advantages. 

    So I'd think they'd contribute to a super charger network as it makes buying and using easier for the customer without reducing competition.
    Like Home automation standards or USB-c Power Delivery. 




    edited July 27
  • Reply 19 of 45
    KTRKTR Posts: 165member
    Beats said:
    tomasulu said:
    Apple use silly patents and a closed ecosystem to lock out competition. 100% sure that if Apple owned the supercharger network it won’t open it up to its competition. Fair comment. 

    Well Apple has allowed knockoffs that violate their patents.
    thats true
  • Reply 20 of 45
    KTRKTR Posts: 165member
    eightzero said:


    Last year, the Tesla and SpaceX founder revealed that he once reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook to gauge interest in an acquisition. Cook declined the request.

    Yeah, I kinda doubt Apple would be interested in being acquired by Tesla.
    me too.
    watto_cobra
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