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Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X 99

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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  • Re: Truly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:58AM (#46301925)

    It still takes someone with both skills and leadership to run a company properly.

      If you were on a boat, would you advocate throwing the captan overboard (assuming he wasn't bad) so that you and your shipmates can run things? Try it, and see how far you get before the next alpha male jockeys for power and control.

  • Re: Truly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:01AM (#46302093)

    Really? REALLY? First, I would hardly call Elon Musk an 'idle parasite'. Second, have you actually worked with the average American worker? You highly exaggerate the capability of the common man, while underestimating the importance of vision and leadership.

  • by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:58AM (#46302241)

    Electric cars are not yet a mature product. Just as computers weren't back in the early 1980s, when they either cost a fortune and didn't do much, or cost less and did much less. Electric cars are at that stage now, but whereas some people will be content to sit back and wait for it to mature, then jump on the bandwagon, others will be in the right place at the right time with the money and the vision to be the one to take it from expensive luxury that doesn't do much (in this case, range) to a mature product.

    Unlike personal computing, cell phones or flat panel televisions, electric cars are not a new technology. They have been around in one form or another, since the 1880s [wikipedia.org]. Vehicle body construction and electric motor design are both very well understood disciplines, as most advances in these areas had significant applications outside their use in electric cars.

    The technological limitation that's holding back electric cars has always been a lack of energy density in the batteries. Fixing that would be a holy grail for a number of different industries (imagine a smartphone that can last an entire week of heavy usage before needing to be recharged). Now, maybe it would be admirable if Tesla was fleecing the rich and dumping all the money back into battery R&D - but they're not. Elon has even said they're not much interested in pursuing fuel cell technology. They're buying off-the-shelf batteries from the same suppliers that build batteries for the rest of the portable electronics industry. Since batteries are a resource intensive product (they're made from commodity materials that must be mined and processed), there is always going to be a fixed cost associated with their production. Here's a free hint: more electric cars being sold will only put more demand on battery manufacturers, and I don't have to explain how supply and demand works.

  • 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.

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