Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, known for his outspokenness, criticised tech giant Apple during a conference call on Tesla's second quarter results to deny that Tesla used a large amount of cobalt in the production of lithium-ion cells, which are used in electric vehicles.
"Apple uses, I think, almost 100 per cent cobalt in their batteries and cell phones and laptops, but Tesla uses no cobalt in the iron-phosphate packs, and almost none in the nickel-based chemistries," Musk said, as quoted by CNBC. "On a weighted-average basis we might use 2 per cent cobalt compared to say, Apple's 100 per cent cobalt. Anyway, so it's just really not a factor," he added.
The comments come in the backdrop of a human rights lawsuit against the electric carmaker and iPhone manufacturer, among other companies. The tech companies were named as defendants in a 2019 lawsuit linked to children who died while cobalt mining.
But that was not all as Musk had more in store for Apple. The billionaire techpreneur made a crack about Apple’s so-called “walled garden,” which is named because Apple strictly controls what software can be installed on the iPhone through its App Store, to quash competition. "It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies." Musk then faked a cough and said, "Apple", CNBC reported.
Apple’s walled garden is facing scrutiny from lawmakers and other companies, including in an antitrust trial that took place earlier this year after it was sued by Epic Games over App Store fees and policies.
While so far Apple has not been a direct competitor for Musk's companies, the iPhone maker is engaged in research and development of an electric sef-driving car, which will place it directly against Tesla.