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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who can 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 obtainable for iOS units, and there is no signal that the favored social media app is at actual danger of getting booted by Apple.
The Tesla CEO’s livid tweets recall how Musk has lengthy taken pictures 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 speak towards Musk or Tesla, and has even averted taking veiled pictures 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.
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 concerning 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 is just not alone in decreasing 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 chargeable 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 group 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 might resonate with different builders.
Apple is infamous for offering few particulars when notifying app makers that their apps are vulnerable to struggling delayed updates or elimination from the App Retailer. Responses inside Apple’s App Retailer Join platform are terse, often 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 below Apple’s platform charges, that are between 15% and 30% of whole digital gross sales, just like the $8 Twitter Blue subscription that Musk has stated could possibly be a serious product for the corporate. Musk stated it was a “de facto global tax” on the web earlier than he took over Twitter, however in his new function as an app proprietor, he has attacked it with growing vigor.
This week, he tweeted and deleted a meme that steered he would somewhat “go to battle” 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.
Tesla and Apple are neighbors within the San Francisco Bay Space, which signifies that they’ve competed for expertise for greater than a decade. Now that competitors has prolonged into Texas.
Each corporations want mechanical engineers, industrial designers, supplies science and battery consultants, and expert software program engineers.
Apple has additionally invested closely in growing its personal electrical autonomous automobile expertise. If the so-called “Apple Automotive” ever got here to market, Tesla and Apple can be direct rivals.
In that context, early examples of Musk tweaking Apple could possibly be seen as pleasant rivalry.
When Tesla was nonetheless an underdog and upstart, Musk used to name Apple the “Tesla graveyard,” based on 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 group advised CNBC, “Tesla is the onerous path. We now have 100 occasions much less cash than Apple, so in fact they’ll afford to pay extra.”
One of the vital 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 time, Musk laid out a few of his issues with the way in which Apple does enterprise on a Tesla earnings call, though he was cautious to not identify 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 get rid of Tesla’s use of cobalt in its manufacturing completely. Tesla has shifted a good portion of its autos to a kind of battery referred to as an LFP, or lithium iron phosphate battery. Nevertheless, it has not managed to get rid of want of cobalt fully but.
In its most recent Impact Report, Tesla wrote, “we anticipate our absolute cobalt demand to extend over the approaching years as a result of our automobile and cell manufacturing development fee is forecasted to outpace the general fee of cobalt discount on a per cell foundation.”
On the charging entrance, Tesla is experimenting with methods to present 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 objective is to help the arrival of sustainable power,” Musk stated. “It’s not to create a walled backyard and use that to bludgeon our rivals, which is utilized by some corporations.”
In case anyone missed the reference to Apple’s App Retailer, which Apple maintains because the unique strategy to distribute apps to its units, Musk then faked a cough and stated, “Apple.”
Musk additionally has used Apple’s identify 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 steered that Apple had regarded into utilizing Starlink, which makes use of totally different expertise.
“We have had some promising conversations with Apple about Starlink connectivity,” Musk tweeted, complimenting the iPhone group. Apple has by no means acknowledged any negotiations and even dialogue with SpaceX.
Have Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner and Musk ever spoken in depth?
In accordance with Prepare dinner, the reply is not any.
The Apple chief stated 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 accumulate Tesla years in the past, when the EV maker’s market cap stood at a fraction of its present worth.
“Through 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, based on the e-book, Musk and Prepare dinner spoke about Apple doubtlessly buying Tesla. It was scuffling with excessive prices and points delivery its Mannequin 3 automotive 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 needed to grow to be CEO of the mixed Apple-Tesla.
“F— you,” Prepare dinner stated, according to the book.