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Elon Musk Calls Apple The “Tesla Graveyard,” Then Responds To Backlash… Twice

You can always count on Tesla CEO Elon Musk for some good comments. The guy seems to have a bit of a golden touch as far as PR goes. That said, if you’re a relatively honest person, then you’re pretty much always going to end up offending people periodically — a truth that one can observe in action right now, following Musk’s recent comments about the nearly deified electronics company Apple.

Without further ado, here’s the comment that seems to have caused the most discussion, in Musk’s own words: “(Apple) have hired people we’ve fired. 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.”

Tesla / Elon Musk Townhall Meeting In Amsterdam (56-Minute Video)

That comment — made in an interview published in the German newspaper Handelsblatt — doesn’t sound very offensive to me, to be honest. But some people do seem to be getting offended, going by the number of articles written on the subject, despite the (to my eyes) apparent joking nature to them.

Some of the other comments were more interesting, though, and seem to have a fair amount of truth to them:

“Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smart-watches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.”

That’s a solid point, in my opinion. Though that’s not to say that Apple won’t manage to successfully deploy an electric vehicle (EV) sometime in the next decade — simply that it will be a difficult, complex undertaking. One that may not be best achieved via the use of a manufacturer such as Foxconn.

Presumably, Musk isn’t actually opposed to an Apple EV as some have tried to imply, as it seems pretty apparent that such an offering would benefit the market as a whole — bringing a lot of positive PR and awareness to the technology, and probably increasing the sales of competitor EVs as well, including Teslas.

In response to some of the printed interpretations of these comments, Musk clarified things to some degree with a couple of new tweets:

In response to those responses, Apple Insider titled a piece, “Elon Musk walks back Apple Car, Apple Watch aspersions in Twitter confessional.” Elon responded again:

One thing is for certain: Elon doesn’t like being misrepresented. Alas, at that stage of fame, it’s inevitable.

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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