24/7 WallSt published an interesting article with a headline claiming that the Apple Car, which doesn’t exist yet, is making Tesla fans worried. As a Tesla fan and small investor, I’m not worried. And I’m sure many other fans aren’t losing sleep either. I do lose sleep, but it’s not over EVs — it’s due to hyperactive kittens.
The article pointed out that Apple may have a car by 2024 — or it may not. Since Apple hasn’t really shared any news about it, rumors are abounding like spring flowers in May. The article cited the latest media report that spoke of a deal between Apple and either Kia or Hyundai and said that the company that should be the most worried about Apple’s move is Tesla.
I don’t think that Tesla should worry this much about Apple right now — Tesla has a lot going on for it, including the start of its production of the Semi, which is slated to begin this year as well as production of the Cybertruck. Tesla also isn’t just an EV maker — it is an energy company. Or as its CEO Elon Musk has stated, a chain of startups. Too often, people forget about this.
“The thing, I think, that people just don’t really understand about Tesla is that it’s a whole chain of start-ups. And they’re like, well, you didn’t do that before. Yes, but we’re doing it now. I mean I think, so far, we have not — we’ve maybe been a bit slow with some of the start-ups, but I don’t think we’ve had any of them fail.” — Elon Musk, Tesla Q3 2020 Earnings Call.
An Apple Car Will Not Be A ‘Tesla Killer’
The article pretty much added the maybe/maybe not Apple car to a long list of EVs that could potentially cause Tesla to fall. Last year, I wrote that Tesla killers are failing miserably, and that still stands true today. If Apple actually does make an EV, I don’t think Tesla will be going under as a result.
For a company to succeed at beating Tesla, it will need to come and do the exact thing that Tesla has done but better, while simultaneously changing the industries — yes, plural — that Tesla has impacted. And this won’t happen, at least not in our lifetime, due to Wright’s Law. Tesla is sustaining Wright’s Law, which states that for every cumulative doubling of units produced, costs will fall by a constant percentage. ARK Invest detailed exactly what this means and you can read more about it here.
For Apple to succeed at this, it would have to literally reinvent itself from a company that specializes in computers and smartphones to one that takes on the energy and automotive industries. And it would have to do more than make an autonomous EV. The next evolutionary step for vehicles would be flying vehicles such as in The Jetsons — now, if Apple can do this and make these vehicles fully electric, or producing zero emissions, then yes, Tesla should be worried.
But again, if Apple does this, not just Tesla but all of the other automakers should be worried — Apple would put them all out of business. Well, I take that back. Apple would have to make affordable flying cars that produce zero emissions. Or something that is just as bold, unique, and innovative as Tesla has done, while changing the path of those industries forever.
An Apple EV Would Have Apple Prices
Today, many pay $1000 for an iPhone if they want the new, shiny one that comes out every year. That’s a lot of money for a gadget. Apple is well known for its high prices, and Apple would probably price its EV much higher than Tesla does. In this case, the battery technology probably wouldn’t make a difference in regards to the pricing since Apple’s brand is what many people pay for when getting the product.
The two companies also have very different missions. Tesla’s is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainability and if Apple was to make an EV and outsell Tesla, that would still be contributing to Tesla’s mission. Fate loves irony, after all.