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Is Tesla the "Apple" of automobiles?

T34ME

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
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Inland Empire
In general, I am not a fan of Apple products. I find that Apple products are overpriced, limited in flexibility, and overly controlled by the company. For example, I have only used PC's for both personal and business use. MY DW has a Macbook. Third party software for the Mac is limited, especially for business applications. I find the UI on the Mac very frustrating, but maybe that is because I do not use her's frequently. And then her Macbook cost twice as much as my business level PC. I purchased a new printer and it works great with my PC while functionality is limited with the Mac. Same goes for smartphones. My DW has an android phone that works great and is half the price of a similar Iphone.

Is Tesla the "Apple" of automobiles? To answer my own question, the answer is no, not at this time. The reason I come to this conclusion is based on several factors.
  • Elon wants to change the world in terms reducing carbon emissions for personal transportation. Other auto manufacturers are in the EV market to maintain their competitive edge. They have no world changing strategy.
  • Tesla is the only maker that is constantly improving their product through OTA improvements.
  • Tesla has invested a considerable amount of money into a worldwide Supercharger network.
  • Tesla has eliminated the independent dealership concept
  • Tesla does not use corporate advertising, they let their "competition" advertise for them in addition to their customers.
I will not deny that Apple makes very attractive looking products and they are innovative much like Tesla. But that is where the similarities end. No, Tesla is not the Apple of automobiles------at this time. That may change in the future as the personal transportation market becomes more competitive.
 
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T-Will

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Feb 10, 2016
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530
Rocklin, CA
I think people consider Tesla the “Apple” of automobiles, because they are similar in the way they each shook up an industry.

  • Before the iPhone, most phones had physical keyboards (Tesla is removing most physical controls and simplifying the vehicle’s interior)
  • Apple releases regular OS updates that fix bugs and add features (Tesla does this too)
  • Apple opened dedicated stores where potential customers can go to just look, without pressure to buy (Tesla has this same model)
 

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,630
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Southern California
I suspect that this thread will have people talking past each other based off their interpretation of what it means to be the Apple of automobiles. Most Apple fans just love the products and don't see the things that bother non fans. I respect Apple products and have recommended them to multiple people, but I don't like them for me. For me they are overpriced, not flexible enough, & cult-y. That sounds a lot like Tesla to me, particularly when you see my threads about wanting to customize the screen layout more ...

That said, one way that Tesla is NOT like Apple, where they are more like Android is this unfortunate way: Apple has lots of copies of the almost exact same very controlled hardware. It makes OTA updates fairly predictable and effective for them. On the other hand, Android has a huge variety of manufacturers and hardware. With Tesla's constant upgrades to the production line, it feels like they have a large variety of slightly different configurations of their cars which makes it more difficult to get Ota updates as predictable as if they were tweaking the production line less.
 
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PoitNarf

My dog's breath smells like dog food
Jun 7, 2016
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Sure there are a few similarities in the way that they approach development of new products.

Apple:
  • First to drop what they at the time consider to be legacy hardware such as floppy drives and optical drives
  • First to adopt newer ports (USB-C, Thunderbolt / Mini DisplayPort) and drop “legacy” ones such as USB and headphone jacks
  • Has a proprietary connector (Lightning) for all of their mobile devices that does not work with devices from other manufacturers
  • Has a large following of loyal customers and probably an equal amount of naysayers

Tesla:
  • First to drop key fobs, physical buttons and gauges
  • First to adopt using a center mounted touchscreen to replace nearly all physical buttons and first to use smartphones and RFID keycards to control access to their vehicles
  • Has a proprietary connector for charging their vehicles that does not work with vehicles from other manufacturers (in the US at least)
  • Has a large following of loyal customers and probably an equal amount of naysayers
 

Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,531
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Alameda, CA
Yeah, people talking past each other is likely.

I don't get the OP decision that they are NOT the same, as his arguments, and all subsequent posts, make it sound like they are the same company, just at different stages of development.

I think as Tesla continues with the struggle to give the best service they will follow Apple, who was following Ritz-Carlton.

-Randy
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
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TX
That said, one way that Tesla is NOT like Apple, where they are more like Android is this unfortunate way: Apple has lots of copies of the almost exact same very controlled hardware. It makes OTA updates fairly predictable and effective for them. On the other hand, Android has a huge variety of manufacturers and hardware. With Tesla's constant upgrades to the production line, it feels like they have a large variety of slightly different configurations of their cars which makes it more difficult to get Ota updates as predictable as if they were tweaking the production line less.

Tesla here is still way, WAY more Apple than Android.

Apple does actually tweak their hardware slightly periodically without an actual "refresh" They just don't talk about it, and it's extremely hard see in iPhones/iPads and only slightly easier to see in Macs. They also have regular public hardware refresh cadence, and have slowly built up options list.

Tesla's options over the years are far more Apple in scope, and much more importantly like Apple it's Tesla's hardware. Not installed and not even available for install.

Every single Tesla has received software updates for several years. Nearly all phones that run Android aren't 3rd party hardware, and the vast majority of those will NEVER have an Android OS update for them. Because under Android's model that's not Google's duty, it's the hardware OEMS job. A phone owner that wants to try take it on and is able to root the phone can do their own thing to load a new version of Android in, but results are not guaranteed by anyone.
 
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ℬête Noire

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Jan 30, 2018
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Yeah, people talking past each other is likely.

I don't get the OP decision that they are NOT the same, as his arguments, and all subsequent posts, make it sound like they are the same company, just at different stages of development.

I think as Tesla continues with the struggle to give the best service they will follow Apple, who was following Ritz-Carlton.

-Randy
They aren't the same companies, and there are some modest differences (in formation, exact path, Tesla buying nearly zero ad placements, etc.) but to try suggest that Tesla doesn't have strong similarities to Apple in the past just demonstrates misunderstanding of Apple and/or Tesla.
 
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xav-

Active Member
May 26, 2016
1,187
823
Orange County CA
It's what Apple used to be. Not what Apple has become. E.g when Steve Jobs was alive.

You know the good old days when watching an Apple presentation felt like Christmas Eve as a kid, when something like the Apple Watch, the iPad Pro with the stylus or Apple Maps would have immediately been shot down.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,544
6,292
Snohomish, WA
As someone that owns lots of different types of devices/computers I can't really say that Apple is any more expensive than it's competitors. It really just depends on what you want it for. Like you wouldn't buy a Mac to if you wanted to game.

Now this doesn't mean there aren't times where Apple has an extremely badly valued product on the market. This does happen from time to time. But, generally you get what you pay for whether it's an Apple, or a Dell.

With Apple products I found that I could use them for much longer periods of time than an equivalent PC, and I could sell them for more afterwards. So in terms of net cost they weren't really any more.

With an Apple PC you aren't limited by their OS as you can load windows if you want to. On my 2007 Mac Pro I ended up putting Windows 10 on it as Apple no longer supported it. Now sure that's an awfully long time to keep a computer, and all I did to keep it going was to put an SSD into it along with a newer video card. I didn't end up retiring it until recently when I became obsessed with deep learning. So I needed something substantially better so I built a machine for it. It runs Ubuntu because both Apple and Microsoft are WAY late on the whole deep learning front.

The only real comparison I can make between Apple, and Tesla is they forced their respective industries to innovate. They were both run by people who created what people referred to as reality distortion fields. Where there was something more to getting the product than the net sum of it's parts.

Apple really lost that with the passing of Steve Jobs.

Tesla still has that with Elon, but it won't last if he keeps making promises he can't deliver on.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
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It's what Apple used to be. Not what Apple has become. E.g when Steve Jobs was alive.

You know the good old days when watching an Apple presentation felt like Christmas Eve as a kid, when something like the Apple Watch, the iPad Pro with the stylus or Apple Maps would have immediately been shot down.
Pish-posh, the fact of Jobs' corpse lying in the ground has nothing to do with this.

For example Jobs almost certainly knew of the Apple Watch as a product (although obviously there was still a lot of development ahead of it when Jobs passed). The Apple Watch is an archetypal Apple product, for better and worse. Even the outlandish gold variant of the first one was so very much Jobs it was like he'd reached out from beyond the grave. In a way had, because of the way he'd moulded Apple corporate structure and culture over the 15 years prior to it.

On Maps, Jobs certainly was involved with Maps. Maps was hardly the first Apple software service with *cough* issues, coming out the door. Frankly online services like that have long been Apple's weak suit. iTunes for example does get things done to an extent but it's a Frankenstein's monster of a mess and has been for years. iCloud, same thing. Siri? Oh my.

Apple is a hellva consumer gadget company. Under Jobs and after. It engineers & markets the crap out of their products. Under Jobs and after. But it sucks at those online services stuff, always has.

Things aren't exactly the same, Apple doesn't have the same sort of flamboyant RDF front man (as Tesla still does) but really still bears Jobs mark. Reality creating RDF, and all.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,544
6,292
Snohomish, WA
It's what Apple used to be. Not what Apple has become. E.g when Steve Jobs was alive.

You know the good old days when watching an Apple presentation felt like Christmas Eve as a kid, when something like the Apple Watch, the iPad Pro with the stylus or Apple Maps would have immediately been shot down.

I would say the watch is really the only major innovation to come out of Apple in awhile.

It might not be for everyone, but there are lots of people including myself where its perfect for our needs. I use it for navigation while I'm walking/biking or I'm on my electric longboard. It's also been shown to predict certain medical conditions with great accuracy. Due to it's massive user base there is a lot of information to learn from. I imagine over time more, and more stuff will be added.

The reason everyone obsesses about Tesla, and Apple is they both have what the other one is missing.

People can say whatever they want about Apple, but the highest quality products I've ever owned have been Apple. The way they put stuff together is really impressive.

Tesla has the innovation Apple is missing along with a Visionary. With Tesla there is a sense of it's direction whether one agrees with it or not. With Apple I don't see any direction or frankly what it's purpose even is anymore.

Tesla will be cash hungry for awhile, and Apple has lots of that.
 
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daniel

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May 7, 2009
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Kihei, HI
Unlike the OP, I like Apple products. A decade ago, sick to death of Windows, I switched to an iMac and have never looked back. When I decided I wanted a tablet, I got an iPad to be compatible with my desktop. And when it came tome to get a smartphone I got an iPhone SE to be compatible with both. I've been very happy with them.

But the two companies have nothing whatsoever in common other than some trivial analogies.

Apple has been an innovative company making gadgets that work fine but in no way affect the quality of the world. It's been extremely profitable.

Tesla is a company founded on a dream of improving the world by taking carbon out of transportation. Depending on who you ask, it's either losing money faster than water goes over Niagara Falls, or just barely managing to stay afloat. Musk could have applied his business acumen to a less altruistic industry and made a lot more money, but he chose this.

Steve Jobs was dedicated to making good products. Elon Musk is dedicated to making good cars that make the world a better place. The only similarity is that both are, broadly speaking, Silicon Valley companies. So, no, Tesla is not the Apple of automobiles.
 

ℬête Noire

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Jan 30, 2018
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Apple has been an innovative company making gadgets that work fine but in no way affect the quality of the world.

Setting aside the efforts Apple has put into "greening up" and cleaning up some of the shadier sides of tech device manufacturing, which is really coincidental conscientiousness:


Apple has always very much been aimed at improving quality of the world for humanity (setting aside the Jobs' time in the desert setting up NeXT). Obviously in a different aspect than Tesla, yet still.

The way they go about engineering the crap out of things. The fever of chasing, of sweating the details. The thought into "how is this going to work in people's lives" (the foresight of the iPhone, of the Supercharger network). The Reality Distortion Field so strong to the point it is able to remake reality. The deep, deep focus on the core of what they are doing, where it's going. The audacious lust for living (whether shooting a Roaster into space or making WYSIWYG foundational to the PC for the love of the beauty of calligraphy).

There is much shared.


EDIT: The biggest one IMO. "F$%^ it, we'll do it in-house." Apple and Tesla (and Space-X) do this over and over and over. A part of the supply chain isn't measuring up? They just bring it in-house and engineer the crap out of the task. Whether it is Space-X, when in the early days Musk was getting massive run around as he tried to buy a rocket to fly decided he'd just figure out how design & build his own, or Apple deciding that was time they should be in control of their CPUs so now the iOS devices run on Apple's own design that's already years ahead of any others, to Apple deciding that outside engineering for manufacturing processes sucks so they'll buy themselves a firm and do it in-house. The strong instinct to go "vertical" is deep, deep in both cultures.
 
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xav-

Active Member
May 26, 2016
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Orange County CA
My main beef against the Watch is the battery life. 1 day battery life is unacceptable in my opinion. I highly doubt Jobs would have shipped that. Even Fitbit and Garmin get 5 days!

On the appearance side.. I think it looks great with the steel/sapphire version when paired with a nice bracelet. The problem however IMO is a lot of people basically end up wearing the basic aluminum version (aluminum is not very durable on à Watch) with the "sport" bracelet... in the end it looks very geeky and cheap (and most Watch end up looking exactly the same)

I think they should make steel standard (I know sapphire is hard to produce in large quantities) and make it easier for people to customize the Watch when purchasing it (I know there are cheap third party bracelets but many people end up keeping the "sport" bands)
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
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Even Fitbit and Garmin get 5 days!
:rolleyes: That's because those have very different utility. They simply are not comparable devices.

Surviving one day, to recharge every night when you do, is the minimum viable for so many people. Of course Jobs wouldn't have killed it over that (or likely anything else).

.....and they're now selling about 8 million of them a quarter, with better than 100% year-over-year sales grown. It doesn't work for you? As if that would have ever slowed down Jobs.:cool: Oh sure he might have phoned up people on a Saturday evening to *cough* encourage them to squeeze out a bit more here or there, or offer his subdued opinion (LOL) on this colour or that. But he populated Apple with plenty of people to do that in his absence. ;)

P.S. I don't own an Apple Watch, no real interest in one. Don't like wearing stuff on my wrist, it's a tactile quirk of mine. I was a very happy person when I bought a cell phone back in the mid-90's and within the week had tossed my watch forever.
 

Barklikeadog

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Jul 13, 2016
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Setting aside the efforts Apple has put into "greening up" and cleaning up some of the shadier sides of tech device manufacturing, which is really coincidental conscientiousness:


Apple has always very much been aimed at improving quality of the world for humanity (setting aside the Jobs' time in the desert setting up NeXT). Obviously in a different aspect than Tesla, yet still.
There are some similarities, but huge differences. While most companies that utilize batteries have that dark side of slave labor for mining... along with the environmental destruction...
Apple just takes it a step further. They still have sweatshops full of employees who live in horrible conditions. Yea, that still goes on, but since suicides are down, nobody
pays attention. If Apple doesn't like you, they will sue you into oblivion or try to destroy you. If China or any other horrible human-rights violating regime demands
that Apple hand over cloud data... Apple does it. Nobody pays attention. South Carolina passes some trans-bathroom bill, and Apple is offended over human rights.
They hide their money overseas and illegally(I say illegally because judgments in the EU have come down against them) avoid taxes.

So yea, there are some similarities, but huge differences. Apple tries to destroy others like Oil companies/competitors want to destroy Tesla.

This happened just last year....
Apple suppliers in China have been tapping high schoolers to staff their factories in a scramble to meet demand for the iPhone X.

Foxconn has brought on 3,000 high-school students to assemble the red-hot smartphone as it works to make up ground following severe production delays, according to a Tuesday report in the Financial Times.

The students, who range in age from 17 to 19, have reportedly been required to work at the plants for at least three months in order to complete what’s being billed as a “work experience” graduation requirement.

Nevertheless, the teens, enrolled at the nearby Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School, regularly toil away 11-hour days, which violates Chinese labor laws for student interns.

“We are being forced by our school to work here,” one student, who was made to assemble 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day, told the FT. “This work has nothing to do with our studies.”

Both Apple and Foxconn acknowledged that they were aware of the students working overtime, and said they were investigating the matter. Apple, however, insisted that “the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits.”
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,556
TX
There are some similarities, but huge differences. While most companies that utilize batteries have that dark side of slave labor for mining... along with the environmental destruction...
Apple just takes it a step further. They still have sweatshops full of employees who live in horrible conditions. Yea, that still goes on, but since suicides are down, nobody
pays attention. If Apple doesn't like you, they will sue you into oblivion or try to destroy you. If China or any other horrible human-rights violating regime demands
that Apple hand over cloud data... Apple does it. Nobody pays attention. South Carolina passes some trans-bathroom bill, and Apple is offended over human rights.
They hide their money overseas and illegally(I say illegally because judgments in the EU have come down against them) avoid taxes.

So yea, there are some similarities, but huge differences. Apple tries to destroy others like Oil companies/competitors want to destroy Tesla.

This happened just last year....
Apple suppliers in China have been tapping high schoolers to staff their factories in a scramble to meet demand for the iPhone X.

Foxconn has brought on 3,000 high-school students to assemble the red-hot smartphone as it works to make up ground following severe production delays, according to a Tuesday report in the Financial Times.

The students, who range in age from 17 to 19, have reportedly been required to work at the plants for at least three months in order to complete what’s being billed as a “work experience” graduation requirement.

Nevertheless, the teens, enrolled at the nearby Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School, regularly toil away 11-hour days, which violates Chinese labor laws for student interns.

“We are being forced by our school to work here,” one student, who was made to assemble 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day, told the FT. “This work has nothing to do with our studies.”

Both Apple and Foxconn acknowledged that they were aware of the students working overtime, and said they were investigating the matter. Apple, however, insisted that “the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits.”

Oh right, another similarity between Apple & Tesla, via 3rd party 'enthusiasts'; Examples from both via the above post and Tesla Motors' Dirty Little Secret Is a Major Problem .

;)
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
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TX
I believe that I mentioned all li-ion battery focused industries have a similar ethical issue.
"....but huge differences..." :rolleyes:

You're doing the Exact. Same. Thing. Out of hand dismissing clear and meaningful effort, and successes, in improvement and progress. :(
 
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