On Tesla and Apple

OCTOBER 4, 2016


Last Friday, I was about to post a linked article about Tesla’s Autopilot version 8.0 best new features, but while reading some related stories on the web, I stumbled upon Jack Stewart’s Wired article.

What caught my attention about Stewart’s piece is my relevant view on Tesla as a company. I don’t own a Tesla by the way, but what interests me about the car company is its Apple-like quality on details and approach. From the hardware and software, elegant design, the user experience, the marketing, and the over the air updates of its software.

Here are some of Jack’s comments that stood out for me:

You may not have bought an iPhone 7 on launch day, but if you’re an Apple user, chances are you upgraded to iOS10 and got a bunch of new features that make your old phone feel newer. The auto industry is slowly moving toward the same model, with Tesla leading the pack. Because Elon Musk’s Model S sedan and Model X SUV are always connected, they can actually get better with age.

Maybe the most remarkable thing about the update is that it simply shows up on the car, like an over-the-air update to your smartphone. No visit to the dealer, no wishing you’d waited to buy your car until the latest version hit the market. This means your car gets better over time, and recalls get way easier.

The ability to remotely improve the software that increasingly governs cars is a tantalizing new revenue stream for automakers, and affords customers the ease of use they’ve come to expect from their smartphones.”

That’s still a few years in the future. But if you’ve got a Tesla in your driveway, the future’s here now. Just give it an hour to install.

Earlier rumours suggest that Tesla was in talk for a possible acquisition, partnership or merger with Apple. During a phone interview with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu last February, Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk discussed his meeting with the Tech giant’s acquisition chief but dismissed the rumour and said that a sale is very unlikely.

Whether these rumours are true or not, I think Tesla on its own is doing excellent work. It may be true that the company is struggling with its ambitious production targets for its Model 3 mass market car, my simple and quick assessment on this though is probably because Tesla is confident in foreseeing more customer demands in the future.

Final Thoughts

Being a new player in the automotive industry, no one expected that Tesla would change the game and by far lead the innovation on creating the car of the future. Even the Germans who are known for their expertise on building cars, overlooked and underestimated the California start-up’s capability. The recent headlines that are popping up on the web like this one and other similar articles prove that the company’s dominance is evident.

And if Apple joins the race,1  Tesla is going to be a tough competition.


  1.  Apple reset its secret car project recently, according to reports.