Elon Musk hits out at Apple saying the firm ‘doesn’t ‘blow people’s minds anymore’ as he admits 2018 was his worst year ever and says he wishes he could undo some tweets

  • In a wide-ranging interview, the Tesla CEO talked about its often controversial Twitter behavior, Model 3 manufacturing and where he sees SpaceX going next
  • He briefly touched on Apple, saying he feels the firm may not be as innovative
  • Musk acknowledged his erratic tweets, saying he doesn’t have much of a filter
  • Also backed Donald Trump’s plan for a space force calling it ‘cool’
  • e-mail

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Elon Musk doesn’t think Apple is quite the innovator that it used to be. 

In a wide-ranging interview with Recode, the billionaire tech mogul talked about his often controversial Twitter behavior, how 2018 has been the ‘worst year of [his] entire career’, how he thinks Donald Trump’s Space Force idea is ‘cool’, and Tesla’s intense Model 3 manufacturing process, among other things.  

Musk briefly touched on his thoughts about Apple when talking about which gadgets he feels are making the biggest impact on consumers.

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In a wide-ranging interview, Elon Musk talked about his controversial Twitter behavior, Tesla’s Model 3 manufacturing process and where he sees SpaceX heading next, among other things

The Tesla CEO admitted he’s an iPhone user, noting that ‘Apple makes great phones.’

But they aren’t as mind-blowing as before, Musk said.

‘No, I still use an iPhone and everything. But Apple used to really bring out products that would blow people’s minds, you know? 

‘And [they] still make great products, but there’s less of that,’ he added. 

Consumers don’t seem to be lining up for iPhones like they may have for other Apple releases in the past, Musk explained.  

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‘There’s less of that. I don’t think people are necessarily running to the store for the iPhone 11,’ he said. 

‘But I think with Tesla, we really want to make products that people just love, that are heart-stopping.’

He also backed Donald Trump’s plan for  Space Force.

‘Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool,’ Musk told Swisher.

 ‘You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing, and like, ‘Oh, how silly to have an Air Force!’ You know, because the aircraft in World War II were managed by the Army.’ 


The Tesla CEO admitted he’s an iPhone user, noting that ‘Apple makes great phones.’ But they aren’t as mind-blowing as before, Musk said in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher 

Musk went on to offer candid details about his reputation on Twitter, touching on some particular tweets that got him in trouble with the SEC.

He sparked a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after claiming on the social media site that he was considering taking his electric car company private at $420 per share.

Despite the lawsuit, which resulted in a settlement requiring the company to tighten its grip on Musk’s communications with investors, Musk said he doesn’t think much about Twitter. 

‘Well, I tweet interesting things pretty much as they come to me, and probably with not much of a filter,’ Musk explained.

‘I find it entertaining. I think, ‘Oh, other people might find this entertaining.’ Sometimes they do.’

He added that he spends ‘much less time on Twitter than people think,’ chalking it up to about 10 to 15 minutes a day. 

‘Some people use their hair to express themselves; I use Twitter,’ Musk joked.

In the interview, Musk admitted that some of Tesla’s recent headaches may have had something to do with him.

‘Yeah, there’s no question there’s, like, self-inflicted wounds,’ Musk said.

WHAT ARE ELON MUSK’S LATEST BIZARRE OUTBURSTS?

Last month, Musk attacked British diver Vern Unsworth, who had dismissed the Tesla chief’s efforts to help the rescue mission for the 12 boys as a ‘PR stunt’ in a widely seen interview on CNN.

Musk, without providing any justification or explanation, referred to Unsworth as ‘pedo guy’ in a since-deleted tweet on Sunday. ‘Pedo’ is short for pedophile.

Unsworth told AFP he had not reviewed the tweets in full and had only heard about them.

But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: ‘If it’s what I think it is yes.’

Musk also denied giving donations to a political action committee dedicated to helping the Republicans maintain control of the house. 

This was despite the Federal Election Commission releasing annual filings this week showing Musk as one of the top 50 donors.

While Musk has described himself as ‘half Democrat, half Repulican’ in the past, it struck many as hypocritical that a green energy CEO would donate nearly $40,000 (£30,700) to help keep in power a political party that has largely ignored or denied climate change.

Despite the fact that publicly-available FEC documents prove his donations to the PAC, Musk tweeted on Saturday that ‘reports that I am a top donor of the GOP are categorically false’.

‘I am not a top donor to any political party,’ he said.

In the past few months, Musk has become embroiled in a series of spats with the news media.

He has chastised reporters for focusing on accidents of autonomous cars instead of their safety potential, and accusing one news organisation of being ‘relentlessly negative’ about Tesla. 

Shares were pummeled in May after Musk abruptly cut off questions from Wall Street analysts over Tesla’s spending plans.

In an earnings call, he berated analysts for asking ‘boring’ questions and sidestepped questions about Tesla’s massive capital needs.

The billionaire branded one industry analyst a ‘boring bonehead’ during the bizarre session, saying another’s ‘questions are so dry they are killing me’. 

Last month, he alleged ‘sabotage’ at Tesla’s operations by an employee, who responded by claiming to be a ‘whistleblower.’

The Tesla CEO wrote a lengthy note to all of his staff stating that he had discovered someone working intently on causing malicious damage within the company’s ranks. 

‘In fact, my brother said, ‘Look, if you do a self-inflicted wound, can you at least not twist the knife afterwards? You stabbed yourself in the leg. You don’t really need to twist it in your leg. Why do that?”

‘…It’s not intentional. Sometimes you’re just under a lot of pressure and – you’re not getting much sleep, you’re under massive pressure, and you make mistakes.’

Musk famously said he was sleeping on the floors of Tesla’s Fremont, California-based factory at the height of the company’s rush to produce enough of its Model 3 sedans. 

He says he has managed to cut down his workload to ’80 or 90 hours’ per week, instead of the 120 hour work weeks he was putting in before. 

‘It’s been a very difficult year,’ Musk said, adding that the Model 3 manufacturing process has been ‘excruciatingly difficult.’

‘It is incredibly difficult to survive as a car company. Incredibly difficult. People have no idea how much pain people at Tesla went through, including myself. 

‘…This year felt like five years of aging, frankly. The worst year of my entire career. Insanely painful,’ Musk added. 

However, things have been looking up for Musk and Tesla after the electric carmaker posted surprisingly positive financial results for the most recent quarter. 

The firm managed to turn a profit in its third-quarter earnings late last month and delivered 56,065 Model 3s in North America, which is 225 more than it previously said it would.  

Looking ahead, Musk believes Tesla will be able to sustain its Model 3 production rates.   

‘We’re certainly over the hump on Model 3 production,’ Musk said. ‘For us, making 5,000 cars in a week for Model 3 is not a big deal. That’s just normal.

‘Now we’re working on raising to 6,000 and then 7,000 Model 3s a week, while still keeping costs under control.’    

WHAT DID ELON MUSK SAY TO STAFF AFTER TESLA REACHED LANDMARK 5,000 MODEL 3S PRODUCTION A WEEK?

From: Elon Musk

To: Everybody

Subj. 7000

Jul. 1, 12:37 PM

We did it!! What an incredible job by an amazing team. Couldn’t be more proud to work with you. It is an honour.

The level of dedication and creativity was mind-blowing. We either found a way or, by will and inventiveness, created entirely new solutions that were thought impossible.

Intense in tents. Transporting entire production lines across the world in massive cargo planes. Whatever. It worked.

Not only did we factory gate over 5000 Model 3’s, but we also achieved the S & X production target for a combined 7000 vehicle week!

What’s more, with the widespread productivity gains throughout Tesla and the new production lines spooling up, we are on track to reach 6k/week for Model 3 next month.

I think we just became a real car company …

Thank you for your hard work and dedication,

Elon

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