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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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.


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.

Article Link: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Shots at Apple During Earnings Call
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macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
Scotsman in New Zealand
Didn't he bitch about Tim Cook not taking his call in the "dark days" at Tesla when they where close to going broke and Musk was looking for a buyer/investor?
Comparing the App Store to his charging network is really comparing Apple and Oranges.
Someone's got a gripe and I'm sure there's more to this than any of us mortals will ever know...


Dec 13, 2016
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.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2019
Tesla opening the SuperCharger network is not about being an open platform, it’s about Tesla realizing it makes no economic sense for them to have to build out an entire network for their own cars in addition to the network the industry is building. Plus with the EV charger money in the infrastructure bill, Tesla may be looking to get a piece of that pie. Also, I suspect that the open charging network will come with some significant strings attached that limit its functionality, just like Tesla’s promise that everyone can use its patents.

Oh, and if Apple ever builds an EV, I’m sure it will use an industry standard charger.


macrumors 68030
Jun 7, 2007
Cook is a piece of work to have not bothered to meet w/Musk. There is no harm in a talk, plus that talk could have born other fruits...
This was the story according to Musk when Tesla was going bankrupt during Model 3 development. It's a fun spin on reality but no one really believes his motives. People only want to meet with successful CEOs when they need something and Cook probably gets hundreds of solicitations every day.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2007
Chicago, IL
I’m sure if Apple builds cars they will use a different battery formulation. Every company and their leaders are a mix of good and bad. I wish Tesla would support Apple Music and wish Apple would allow the App Store to be more open. I’ll still buy a Tesla and MacBook because I think they are the best products on balance.


macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2019
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