Yesterday, during a Tesla earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, not once, but TWICE took a lighter to Apple’s as*hole, lightly roasting the tech giant.
While the companies don’t compete directly, Apple is reportedly building an electric self-driving vehicle under a project code-named Titan, and has attracted a number of engineers and executives away from Tesla.
During the call, the first jab came when Musk was asked about Tesla’s supply chain. Musk said that there’s a misperception that Tesla uses a lot of cobalt, a key material in the production of lithium-ion cells used in both smartphones and electric cars.
“Apple uses I think almost 100% cobalt in their batteries and cell phones and laptops, but Tesla uses no cobalt in the iron-phosphate packs, and almost none in the nickel-based chemistries,” Musk said. “On on a weighted-average basis we might use 2% cobalt compared to say, Apple’s 100% cobalt. Anyway, so it’s just really not a factor.”– Tesla CEO, Elon Musk during their latest earnings call
If you’re unfamiliar or just completely oblivious as to why that’s even a bad thing, that’s okay, I’m dumb too. According to The Guardian, In 2019, Apple, in addition to Tesla and other major technology companies, were named as defendants in a human rights lawsuit due to claims of some cobalt mining places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo being linked to human rights abuses such as child labor.
Earlier this year, Apple published a conflict mineral report that included a list of all conflict minerals, cobalt smelters and refiners, and all of Apple’s cobalt suppliers that participated in audits in 2020, but Apple representatives themselves have never returned request for comment.
Later during the call, Musk made a snarky crack about Apple’s so called “walled garden,” which is named after Apple’s strict control over what software can be installed on the iPhone through its App Store. Apple’s walled garden has, in one way or another, always faced some level of scrutiny going back as far as their Steve Jobs days. Just this year, we covered the antitrust trial, Epic Games, Inc. v. Apple Inc., after Apple was sued by Epic Games over App Store fees and policies.
“I think we do want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk said in response to a question about letting competitors use its charger network. “It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies.”– Tesla CEO, Elon Musk during their latest earnings call
Musk then faked coughed and said “Apple” 😂.
In the past, Apple and Tesla have shared hostility with both accusing one another of stealing their employees as Apple began emerging into the electric vehicle market. Back in 2015, Musk famously called Apple the “Tesla Graveyard” during an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt.
“Important engineers? They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the “Tesla Graveyard.” If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.“– Elon Musk
More recently, Musk tweeted that he had attempted to meet with Tim Cook, but good ole’ Timmy refused to take the meeting.
During the earnings call, Musk ended by saying he likely would not appear on future Tesla earnings calls unless he has “something really important” that he needs to say. With how weirdly eccentric Musk is, heaven only knows what he considers “really important.”