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Elon Musk says Apple hires engineers that Tesla fires

Technically Incorrect: Tesla's CEO muses that Apple won't find it easy to build a car.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Has Elon Musk had a falling out with Apple? Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters/Corbis

I thought they were friends, but perhaps that's not the case.

Perhaps the hopes of some -- that Apple and Tesla will make the perfect electric cars together -- will never be realized.

I offer this thought because of comments that came recently from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Musk mused that Apple may find it hard to build good cars.

There has never been confirmation that Apple is actually building a car. Indeed, CEO Tim Cook replied, "next question," when asked about it last week in an NPR interview.

Still, "next question" doesn't sound quite the same as "no." So the assumption remains that Cupertino, California-based Apple must be working on something vehicular. Indeed, some rumors suggest that an Apple car will roll along the highway as soon as 2019.

Musk, though, thinks the results may not be so great. He told Handelsblatt, "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."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Can Tesla possibly be a more exacting employer than Apple? Is this really imaginable?

For his part, Musk sees Apple lacking. "Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?" he said. "No, seriously. It's good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches."

What has driven Musk to such musings? Did the two companies have a falling out? Or is Musk frustrated there hasn't been a falling in? After all, last year Musk said that he'd had meetings with Apple's head of acquisitions.

Musk, in the past, has praised the idea of Apple getting into the car market. Why now the slight? These situations can change quickly. At this rate, expect Apple to buy Tesla by 2017. I think I'm joking. I think.

(Via Business Insider)