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HomeAutomobileElon Musk has criticized Apple for years. Apple has principally ignored him

Elon Musk has criticized Apple for years. Apple has principally ignored him

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who can also be the brand new proprietor and CEO of Twitter, bashed Apple this week after claiming the corporate has threatened to take away the Twitter app from its App Retailer, accusing the corporate of hating “free speech.”

The Twitter app continues to be out there for iOS units, and there is not any signal that the favored social media app is at actual threat of getting booted by Apple.

The Tesla CEO’s livid tweets recall how Musk has lengthy taken photographs at Apple, and highlighted simply how a lot energy the tech juggernaut nonetheless has over the world’s richest particular person.

In the meantime, Apple as an organization by no means engages in public trash discuss towards Musk or Tesla, and has even averted taking veiled photographs at them, versus the frequent oblique criticisms aimed at Facebook.

Behind all of the assaults, Musk has nice admiration for Apple’s authentic founder, Steve Jobs. Musk has even begun working with Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, on his personal official biography.

A one-way disagreement

Musk’s newest spate of Apple insults started final week. This week, Musk claimed in a tweet that Apple had principally stopped promoting on the Twitter platform.

He tried to impress Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner right into a public dialogue in regards to the discount in promoting on Twitter, asking him if Apple hates “free speech in America” and “what is going on on right here.” Prepare dinner didn’t reply.

Apple just isn’t alone in lowering its campaigns on the social media platform since Musk took over.

After Musk closed a leveraged buyout deal on Oct. 28 and appointed himself CEO, a spike of anti-Black racist and antisemitic hate speech flooded the platform, partly due to raids that have been coordinated by customers on on-line chat platform 4chan.

Musk additionally started making steep cuts to Twitter’s workforce, gutting gross sales groups, groups accountable for measuring Twitter efficiency metrics and content material moderation groups, amongst others.

Twitter has been shedding advertisers and advert income ever since, with civil rights teams and former advertisers on the platform pressuring Musk to show that his a lot smaller staff can responsibly handle content material moderation, advert campaigns, cybersecurity and extra.

Whether or not correct or not, Musk’s allegation that Apple has “threatened to withhold” Twitter from its App Retailer could resonate with different builders.

Apple is infamous for offering few particulars when notifying app makers that their apps are susceptible to struggling delayed updates or removing from the App Retailer. Responses inside Apple’s App Retailer Join platform are terse, normally citing a rule, however not elaborating on what particularly an app maker ought to do to repair the issue — for instance, Apple may say the app has a “metadata drawback” or makes use of a banned software programming interface.

Musk additionally chafes beneath Apple’s platform charges, that are between 15% and 30% of complete digital gross sales, just like the $8 Twitter Blue subscription that Musk has mentioned might be a serious product for the corporate. Musk mentioned it was a “de facto global tax” on the web earlier than he took over Twitter, however in his new position as an app proprietor, he has attacked it with growing vigor.

This week, he tweeted and deleted a meme that recommended he would somewhat “go to warfare” than pay 30% to Apple.

Apple earlier this week declined to touch upon the alleged risk of suspension or Apple’s advert spend with Twitter.

An extended historical past of competitors

Tesla and Apple are neighbors within the San Francisco Bay Space, which implies that they’ve competed for expertise for greater than a decade. Now that competitors has prolonged into Texas.

Each firms want mechanical engineers, industrial designers, supplies science and battery consultants, and expert software program engineers.

Apple has additionally invested closely in creating its personal electrical autonomous automobile expertise. If the so-called “Apple Automobile” ever got here to market, Tesla and Apple can be direct opponents.

In that context, early examples of Musk tweaking Apple might be seen as pleasant rivalry.

When Tesla was nonetheless an underdog and upstart, Musk used to name Apple the “Tesla graveyard,” in response to a number of former Tesla workers who spoke with CNBC. Internally, he would encourage sad Tesla staff to go apply for a soft job at Apple.

He ultimately introduced this up in a public interview, saying that Apple employed individuals who have been fired from Tesla.

In 2018, dozens of former Tesla workers landed at Apple, together with some who have been laid off and others who merely jumped ship from Tesla. At the moment, the EV maker’s North American PR staff informed CNBC, “Tesla is the laborious path. We have now 100 instances much less cash than Apple, so after all they’ll afford to pay extra.”

Some of the notable individuals to change sides was Doug Subject, who began at Apple, joined Tesla after which rejoined Apple. Now he works for a more direct Tesla competitor, Ford.

Final summer season, Musk laid out a few of his issues with the best way Apple does enterprise on a Tesla earnings call, though he was cautious to not title the corporate at first.

He began by criticizing the quantity of cobalt, a mineral linked to human rights abuses, which Apple makes use of to make batteries in its units. In 2018, Musk pledged to remove Tesla’s use of cobalt in its manufacturing totally. Tesla has shifted a good portion of its autos to a kind of battery known as an LFP, or lithium iron phosphate battery. Nonetheless, it has not managed to remove want of cobalt utterly but.

In its most recent Impact Report, Tesla wrote, “we count on our absolute cobalt demand to extend over the approaching years as a result of our automobile and cell manufacturing development charge is forecasted to outpace the general charge of cobalt discount on a per cell foundation.”

On the charging entrance, Tesla is experimenting with methods to provide different EV drivers entry to its community. However the firm hasn’t opened up charging on a mainstream foundation but.

Later within the earnings name, Musk criticized Apple’s “walled backyard” enterprise mannequin when answering a query about when Tesla chargers may have the ability to cost different automobile makes.

“I believe we do wish to emphasize that our purpose is to help the appearance of sustainable vitality,” Musk mentioned. “It isn’t to create a walled backyard and use that to bludgeon our opponents, which is utilized by some firms.”

In case anyone missed the reference to Apple’s App Retailer, which Apple maintains because the unique method to distribute apps to its units, Musk then faked a cough and mentioned, “Apple.”

Musk additionally has used Apple’s title to generate buzz. In September, when Apple announced satellite tv for pc connectivity in its new iPhone 14 fashions (with satellites being operated by GlobalStar) Musk recommended that Apple had seemed into utilizing Starlink, which makes use of completely different expertise.

“We have had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity,” Musk tweeted, complimenting the iPhone staff. Apple has by no means acknowledged any negotiations and even dialogue with SpaceX.

Prepare dinner and Musk

Have Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner and Musk ever spoken in depth?

In response to Prepare dinner, the reply is not any.

The Apple chief mentioned in a 2021 podcast that he has “nice admiration and respect” for Tesla, however that he had by no means spoken with Elon Musk. The 2 have been photographed toes aside with different enterprise leaders at a 2016 assembly with former President Donald Trump at Trump Tower.

However Musk claims that Apple declined his proposal to amass Tesla years in the past, when the EV maker’s market cap stood at a fraction of its present worth.

“Throughout the darkest days of the Mannequin 3 program, I reached out to Tim Prepare dinner to debate the opportunity of Apple buying Tesla (for 1/10 of our present worth). He refused to take the assembly,” Musk tweeted in 2020.

One other model of the story comes from “Energy Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Wager of the Century,” a e-book by enterprise journalist Tim Higgins.

Round 2016, in response to the e-book, Musk and Prepare dinner spoke about Apple doubtlessly buying Tesla. It was combating excessive prices and points delivery its Mannequin 3 automobile on the time. Apple, with its experience in manufacturing and enormous quantities of money, would have been an ideal acquirer.

Besides, in Higgins’ telling, Musk had one situation: He wished to develop into CEO of the mixed Apple-Tesla.

“F— you,” Prepare dinner mentioned, according to the book.

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