No big deal about Ap­ple – Elon Musk

Daily Trust - - IT WORLD -

The world may be ea­ger for a glimpse of Ap­ple’s ru­moured elec­tric car, dubbed ‘Pro­ject Ti­tan’, but Elon Musk isn’t quite so in­ter­ested.

The boss of car maker Tesla told a Ger­man news­pa­per that cars are much more com­plex than the phones and watches Ap­ple is fa­mous for, and he isn’t wor­ried about the com­pe­ti­tion.

He also dubbed the firm a ‘Tesla grave­yard’ full of his ex em­ploy­ees who didn’t make it at his firm.

The en­tre­pre­neur made the highly charged com­ments in an in­ter­view with Ger­man news­pa­per Han­dels­blatt.

In re­cent months, Ap­ple has hired a num­ber of engi­neers with back­grounds in automotive and bat­tery de­sign, in­clud­ing a se­nior engi­neer from Tesla, ac­cord­ing to a LinkedIn post­ing.

Ap­ple’s elec­tric car could launch in 2019, re­port says An elec­tric car cre­ated by Ap­ple could be a re­al­ity in as lit­tle as four years in wqas re­ported last month.

Sources claim the com­pany is tripling the num­ber of engi­neers on the pro­ject, code-named Ti­tan, and has set a ‘ship date’ of 2019.

The Wall Street Jour­nal said the date could just be a tar­get for engi­neers to sign off on the de­sign, not nec­es­sar­ily when a car would be avail­able for sale.

Ap­ple has not com­mented on ru­mours it is work­ing on a car, which have been swirling for months.

The re­port said a self­driv­ing car is still a part of Ap­ple’s long-term plans, but the first model will re­quire some­one to be be­hind the wheel.

In re­cent months, Ap­ple has hired a num­ber of engi­neers with back­grounds in automotive and bat­tery de­sign, in­clud­ing Jamie Carlson, a se­nior engi­neer from Tesla, ac­cord­ing to a LinkedIn post­ing.

At least six oth­ers with ex­pe­ri­ence de­vel­op­ing self­driv­ing tech­nol­ogy and sys­tems have joined Ap­ple, ac­cord­ing to their LinkedIn pro­files.

The cut­ting com­ments per­haps mark a change of heart for the en­tre­pre­neur who was ru­moured to be in pos­si­ble ac­qui­si­tion talks with Ap­ple in 2014, Busi­ness In­sider re­ported.

In May, Mr Musk said it would be ‘great’ if Ap­ple en­tered the car mar­ket.

While Mr Musk agrees it is log­i­cal for Ap­ple to move into elec­tric cars, he does not think its car will be a threat to Tesla, de­spite the fact the auto com­pany has yet to make a profit.

Mr Musk said he hopes Tesla will be prof­itable next year and is in­vest­ing in ramp­ing up pro­duc­tion of the Model X and Model 3, adding that there are no plans to slow the com­pany’s growth for the sake of prof­itabil­ity.

Speak­ing about Ap­ple’s am­bi­tions for a range of cars, he said: ‘Did you ever take a look at the Ap­ple Watch? (laughs) No, se­ri­ously: It’s good that Ap­ple is mov­ing and in­vest­ing in this di­rec­tion.’

He con­tin­ued that cars are very com­plex com­pared to phones or smart­watches, be­fore adding Ap­ple won’t be able to go to Fox­conn, which makes de­vices such as the iPad and iPhone, and ask it to build a car.

And he quipped that a new pen­cil or big­ger iPhone won’t be enough to keep Ap­ple’s in­no­va­tive rep­u­ta­tion alive.

Rather than Ap­ple, how­ever, Mr Musk in­stead told Lukas Bay the real threat to Tesla comes from China.

He said there are four bil­lion dol­lar China-funded elec­tric ve­hi­cle start-ups in the US alone and im­port taxes are far higher in China than in the US, putting Tesla at a disad­van­tage when it comes to ex­port­ing its cars to the eastern su­per­power. Dai­lyMailon­line

Tesla's boss Elon Musk

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