Tesla CEO Elon Musk Dials Down Apple Diss: ‘It’s A Great Company’

Like most successful executive-types, Tesla’s CEO probably has a formidable library of books about how to succeed in the business world. And while he’s probably read most of them, he might have skipped over some of those warm and fuzzy quotes about catching more flies with honey instead of horse flop, or Ghandi’s noteworthy assertion that leadership “means getting along with people.” As previously reported by Inquisitr, the 44-year-old business magnate recently took a swipe at Apple in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, ridiculing the tech monolith for hiring former employees of Tesla Motors. Time republished excerpts of Elon Musk’s controversial comments online.

“They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

Musk also implicitly ridiculed the design of Apple watch, comparing the product to Tesla’s much-touted line of automobiles. Tesla Motors utilizes unique and specialized technology and design for its use of electric vehicles. According to True Car, the starting price for a Tesla Model S Roadster is $101,500.

“Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches.”

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Indeed, while Apple took a good deal of flack over an initial slump in Apple Watch sales (as well as a string of bad reviews and waning consumer interest in the product), the Wall Street Journal notes that the company may have turned a corner in the recent past. Quoting figures provided by research firm IDC, Wall Street Journal noted that the Apple Watch is now “second [behind Fitbit] among users of wearable devices.” IDC also said that Apple shipped 3.6 million units of Apple Watches in the second quarter, effectively showing a better roll out than the iPad or iPhone.

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Some speculate that Elon Musk’s public diss on Apple might have something to do with widespread speculation that the innovative computer company may soon wade into the automotive industry. Tesla Motors turned a profit for the first time in the company’s existence in 2013, and it’s a safe bet that competition in their corner of the market would be less than welcome, especially by an established and highly regarded endeavor like Apple.

For his part, Elon Musk walked back his critique of Apple after inciting a bit of backlash with his cavalier comments. He addressed the rigmarole via Twitter, professing his appreciation for Apple and its workers.

Musk’s reference to an “EV” refers to the Apple’s secret development of an electric vehicle called “Titan.” Last month, the company reportedly tripled the number of people working on the project.

Jony Ive is Apple’s design chief. Ive and his team rolled out the watch last year.

Website Benzinga noted that Musk’s tough talk and semi-retraction wasn’t the only cringeworthy moment for his company this week, reporting that the Tesla Motors stock dropped by around 10 percent by Friday. The site traced the dip to a general lack of enthusiasm over the new Tesla Model X launch as well as concerns regarding Tesla Motors’ near-term outlook. Elon Musk probably doesn’t have much to worry about, though. Even if things don’t turn around and he taps out at Tesla, based on his own assertions, he can easily get a job at Apple.

[Images via Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Fox/The Simpsons; Daily Tech]