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Elon Musk: "We call Apple 'the Tesla graveyard'..."

CEO hits back at claims Apple is poaching staff for its self-driving car project

Thought Silicon Valley was some free-love utopia, where benevolent tech geniuses shared cinnamon lattes and collaborated on high-minded projects to further the lot of humanity?

Think again. It’s war on the west coast, and Tesla boss Elon Musk is unleashing the heavy artillery.

Musk today issued a verbal bitch-slap to Apple – a small-time technology company apparently specializing in mobile telephonic devices and portable computers – referring to the Californian firm as ‘The Tesla Graveyard’.

Asked if Apple was poaching members of Tesla staff to work on its self-driving ‘iCar’ project, never officially announced but apparently codenamed ‘Project Titan’, Musk responded: “Important engineers? They’ve hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple ‘The Tesla Graveyard’.”


Never one to leave a thing unsaid, Musk continued. “If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple.”

Earlier this week, Tesla unveiled its Model X crossover, a high-riding, all-electric seven-seater capable of 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds. Though Apple looks set to one day compete with Tesla in the autonomous electric car market, Musk seems unconcerned by the imminent arrival of the world’s most valuable company on his patch.

Questioned whether he regarded Apple as a serious automotive competitor, he replied, “Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?”

Double ouch. Musk continued. “No, seriously, it’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn [the Taiwanese firm that manufacturers the iPad and iPhone] and say, ‘Build me a car’.

“For Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough.”

Triple ouch. No official response from Apple yet, but Siri’s said to be FUMING…

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