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Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the what'd-he-say? dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted in a Bloomberg interview that he had engaged in 'conversations' with Apple, but refused to disclose the content of those talks. Rumors have circulated for several days that Apple executives met with Musk last spring about a possible acquisition. An anonymous source with knowledge of those discussions told SFGate.com that discussions included Adrian Perica, who heads up Apple's M&A division, and possibly Apple CEO Tim Cook. 'Both [Tesla and Apple] have built brands based on advanced engineering and stylish user-friendly design,' the newspaper noted. 'And each company has become a symbol of Silicon Valley innovation—even among people who don't own their products.' But in the interview, Musk framed an acquisition as 'very unlikely,' mostly because it would distract Tesla from its goal of building an affordable electric car. 'I don't see any scenario,' he added, in which Tesla could juggle the issues associated with a takeover while producing vehicles that met his perfectionist standards. He did suggest, however, that Apple's iOS and Google Android could find their respective ways into Tesla's in-vehicle software. Tesla executives once considered integrating an early version of Android into the company's first electric cars, but the software ultimately wasn't ready to serve as an automotive application. Nonetheless, Musk could see iOS or Android within the context of a 'projected mode or emulator' that would allow someone to use applications while driving, although 'that's peripheral to the goal of Tesla.'"
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Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X

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  • Well ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by the bluebrain (443451)
    ... he's about the only person alive who could be a believable successor to Steve Jobs. So he's got that going for him :)
  • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:45AM (#46302049)
    The 2014 Honda Civic I have heard can interface with a phone via an HDMI cable. Full blown interfaces are inevitable, probably in less than 5 years.

    The selling point of integration via HDMI is that vehicles no longer need to have their own navigation systems (which is extra equipment and rather pointless in the smartphone era) and instead uses the phone navigation app.

    [Shorter version: Apple acquiring Tesla would be stupid for both companies. Tesla shouldn't exclude Android, Apple doesn't have an interest in the auto market --- and standard interfaces will be expected in the near future ... ]
    • by mjwx (966435)

      The 2014 Honda Civic I have heard can interface with a phone via an HDMI cable. Full blown interfaces are inevitable, probably in less than 5 years.

      The selling point of integration via HDMI is that vehicles no longer need to have their own navigation systems (which is extra equipment and rather pointless in the smartphone era) and instead uses the phone navigation app.

      [Shorter version: Apple acquiring Tesla would be stupid for both companies. Tesla shouldn't exclude Android, Apple doesn't have an interest in the auto market --- and standard interfaces will be expected in the near future ... ]

      Apple has a very big interest in the auto market. they've been trying to push IOS onto in car entertainment systems for well over a year now. However the new systems seem to be floundering with consumers who find them annoying and counter-intuitive.

      There is no reason Musk should sell Tesla to Apple though. Apple would just sink it, there's too much competition for Apple to survive with every man and his dog now releasing hybrids and full blown EV's. Tesla needs to remain at the forefront of EV tech to r

      • by AaronW (33736)

        I doubt it would go anywhere with Apple. Tesla uses embedded Linux with the Qt toolkit for their touch screen, which is quite fast and responsive using an nVidia Tegra 3 processor. The touch screen has been quite reliable in my experience with it over the past year and Qt was an excellent choice for them. They have an open-source OS and full source code over all of their libraries. Tesla has shown that they're not afraid to write their own software, after all they wrote their own :a href="http://it.slashdot

    • Wireless mirroring is already a feature of iOS devices and AFAICT it can be done with Android too. This would be less cumbersome than HDMI cabling and avoid a clunky connector and adapter (at least for iOS phones).

      There's only two pieces missing from it -- remote touch, so you can use the car's built-in dash screen for control and display fitting, so the phone's display is formatted to fit the car screen's aspect ratio.

      The latter may be more complicated given the way apps seem to be written for iOS in rega

      • by ozgood (873183)
        Miracast on Android. I have started to see double din touch screens that just mirror your smart phones screen. Full touch too. This should be the next standard for all mobile phones.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh man, I can't wait for the iTesla. The whole exterior will be made out of smooth black glass; hell, the interior too. You'll only be able to download power from the iVolts store and the power won't be compatible with any other electronic device. It'll cost twice as much as a regular Tesla, but the interface is soooo much better. You just swipe the dashboard to make it go, press the button to make it stop and swipe left or right to steer. Who needs all those stupid buttons and wheels and crap? Plus, Apple
  • by jpatters (883) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:00AM (#46302605)

    I know Tesla doesn't want to have dealerships, but what if the talks had to do with some Apple Stores also becoming Tesla dealerships, at least in the states that are giving Tesla legal woes over selling directly to consumers?

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I really hope not. Any such deal would require Tesla to implement iPod support in their cars, which I definitely don't want. There are open standards for that kind of thing, the last thing we need is a proprietary protocol and connector wasting space and precluding the inclusion of support for other devices (because Apple don't like compatible devices to be compatible with anything else).

      • by swb (14022)

        Haven't most cars switched the bluetooth versus hardwired cabling connectors?

        I've only used two rentals with bluetooth and music with my iphone was pretty seamless.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          A wired connection is needed to browse the iTunes library on the iPod/iPhone, a feature Apple will insist on.

          • iOS supports the AVRCP 1.4 bluetooth standard, which makes it possible to browse the music library over bluetooth.
        • by jxander (2605655)

          Seamless, so long as you only want to play the music actually stored on the phone.

          If you want to stream music through Pandora, Spotify, etc using your phone and Blue Tooth it over the car speakers ... well good luck. I rent cars fairly frequently (about 2 weeks/month) and run about 50/50 chance of that actually working. I've switched back to using an aux cable the majority of the time.

  • hello every body
  • Both Google and Apple are swimming in money that they just can not seem to find a good way to spend. Google really seems to hate the idea of becoming a hardware company but Apple is all about hardware. I could see a Tesla with Apple IOS for the infotainment system being a huge hit. Google and their love of self driving cars could be a fit. Imagine a self driving Tesla? Right now both Apple and Google are trying to decide "what next".

    • Both Google and Apple are swimming in money that they just can not seem to find a good way to spend.

      Very true but they aren't going to change industries altogether. Apple is going to remain in consumer electronics and Google is going to remain in advertising. Getting into the auto business would be very foolish of them since they have no particular expertise to bring to the table there. Google is doing some interesting research projects with cars but that's a very far cry from producing real products they sell to retail customers. Furthermore if they buy Tesla they likely are limiting their ability to

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Getting into the auto business would be very foolish of them since they have no particular expertise to bring to the table there.

        I entirely agree, but when has this stopped other companies from making foolish acquisitions?

        • by sjbe (173966)

          I entirely agree, but when has this stopped other companies from making foolish acquisitions?

          Neither Google nor Apple (especially Apple) has a history of making silly acquisitions. I'm not overly worried they are going to start now. Of the two, Google has made the riskier moves of the two so if either of them was going to buy something stupid I'd bet on Google to do it.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Very true but they aren't going to change industries altogether.

        Apple didn't change the phone business? The carriers (e.g. AT&T) used to say exactly what was on the phone and how the network was used. Now, at least to a large degree (of course there are still agreements and limitations), the maker of the phone itself says what's on the phone and all apps can use the network, etc.

        • Apple didn't change the phone business?

          Apple brought computers to the phone business and computers were a business Apple was already in and already understood very well. Phones are basically computers and Apple brought this fact front and center. Despite the fact that they are increasingly digital, automobiles are not computers and there is a vast amount of engineering expertise in them that is WAY outside Apple's wheelhouse. (suspensions, motors, etc) I suppose nothing is impossible but I really can't see Apple getting into the car business

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        NOBODY would pay a premium for a Mac that ran Windows only, no matter how nice the box.

        It's obviously anecdotal, and I can't even provide a citation, but I sure remember reading people say they did exactly this... I thought it was even here on Slashdot. Bought a MacBook, wiped it, and ran only Windows on it.

        • It's obviously anecdotal, and I can't even provide a citation, but I sure remember reading people say they did exactly this... I thought it was even here on Slashdot. Bought a MacBook, wiped it, and ran only Windows on it.

          That's pretty much the definition of the exception that proves the rule. If Apple were dumb enough to sell Macs with Windows, there would be essentially zero reason to buy a Mac. A Mac is OS X. Apple is fundamentally a software company that sells their software in some custom hardware.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Apple went from a computer company to a mobile phone company and media company. Google is also into a lot of markets now as well. It makes more sense than you might think. GE was a company that made electrical products to one that makes just about everything including jet engines. GM, Ford, and Chrysler where all very diversified at one point. The Redstone rocket that launched Alan Shepard was built by Chrysler, The engines that powered the P-38 lightning was made by GM and GM made jet engines, Ford Aerospa

        • Apple went from a computer company to a mobile phone company and media company.

          Apple went from a computer focused consumer electronics company to a more general consumer electronics company. Phones, tablets, MP3 players, digital music and personal computers are all just different forms of consumer electronics. Apple's real expertise is in the software that goes into these devices. Love them or hate them, their software is what keeps people buying from Apple as opposed to Dell or Sony. It's what really differentiates their products.

          The problem Apple (and Google) are running into is

          • Love them or hate them, their software is what keeps people buying from Apple as opposed to Dell or Sony.

            Actually, the EULA for their software is what keeps people buying from Apple. If they sold their OS for use on commodity hardware instead of tying it to Apple hardware, it would see a lot more market share.

  • by Pliny (12671) on Friday February 21, 2014 @02:06PM (#46304983) Homepage

    If nothing else, both companies desperately need better battery technology. Could be they were talking about swapping patents or joint R&D.

  • Nice rumour mongering on this one. I'll suggest it's battery related. It's no secret that Tesla is planning the worlds largest LiON cell plant. They're planning on being the largest user of LiON cells on the planet... I'm guessing that Apple is right up there too. Tesla will need partners... some with cash, some with tech. Apple fits the cash bill...

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