Many industry experts often compare Tesla and Apple in many ways. At the same time, two illustrious CEOs Elon Musk and Steve Jobs were also brought to the table.
In fact, neither Apple nor Tesla invented smartphones and electric cars. But each company has the right strategy and vision in its own style. Therefore, these two corporations have become the leading dinosaurs in the industry.
For years, Wall Street pundits like Gene Munster have called Tesla the Apple of the auto industry. Many analysts are even asking, will Tesla be worth more than Apple in 2030?
Recently, however, comparisons have been dropped. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the public outrage caused many of the electric car company’s investors to panic as the stock plunged 65% in 2022.
What investors care about right now is whether Tesla can remain competitive in a market where many new electric car companies are emerging and growing as fast as today?
It can be said that when Steve Jobs led Apple, he chose a sustainable, stable and consistent development strategy (although many things are not perfect). In contrast, Elon Musk has an erratic leadership style, always publicizing “everything” on Twitter, surprising the public.
This shows that two tech legends have completely different leadership styles. This is the only differentiator but also the most risky for Tesla’s auto business. This brand has already shown many signs that it is not as “enduring” as the iPhone.
Tesla is not the next Apple
Both Apple and Tesla have a first-mover advantage, which is one reason many analysts like to compare the two corporations. But Tesla certainly isn’t the Apple of the auto world.
When Tesla released the Roadster, its first electric car, in 2008, it was one of the pioneers on the market. However it had to go through many years of struggle and had some serious financial difficulties.
After that, Tesla emerged with the two best-selling electric cars, Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3, taking a large market share in North America. But development is increasingly retarded.
By 2020, Tesla holds 80% market share in the US electric car market. By 2021, Tesla has 71% left. And by 2022, that percentage will drop to just 64%.
The US market has witnessed the non-stop blooming of many competitors to Tesla. Leading automotive data provider S&P Global Mobility predicts that Tesla’s market share is likely to drop to 20% by 2025.
As for Apple, this brand is not the first to make a smartphone, nor does it pioneer to put a fingerprint sensor on a phone, much less a smartphone brand for facial recognition. But since its launch, Apple has always led the market share in the US even as cheaper competitors begin to flood the market. As for Tesla, this is an unanswered question.
Firstly, the market share of the auto industry other than electric vehicles is fragmented. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, will also have a 10.5% market share in 2021. The figure is too different from the 55% market share that Apple holds in the US.
Second, through the New York Times, economist Paul Krugman said a car and an iPhone are not comparable. One competitive advantage the iPhone has is the network effect. “People use Apple products because many other people are using them,” he said.
Economist Noah Smith also makes another argument for Apple’s network effect. “This brand created the iOS app and spread the popularity of this operating system. Customers buy iPhone also because the ecosystem is big, dynamic and famous,” he said.
However, Smith noted, Tesla is also trying to create a network of Tesla-specific Supercharger car charging stations in many countries around the world with fast charging capabilities.
But while Tesla also has unique apps and program updates similar to Apple’s, it’s been difficult to attract consumers the way the iPhone used to beat Android.
Elon Musk is not Steve Jobs
In fact, Elon was compared to Steve Jobs because the media needed a new tech genius CEO after the former Apple CEO passed away. And Elon Musk seems to be the brightest name.
However, that was all before Musk angered the public with a series of moves on Twitter as well as a “confusing” way of operating. He is erratic, does not focus on individual companies and especially rarely distributes power.
In the past, billionaire Steve Jobs has made many decisions to protect the iPhone – its core product and generates most of its revenue. But Elon Musk is not like that. At a time when Musk should have done the same, he created an unending debate on Twitter. To date, many analysts agree that Musk’s “obsession” with Twitter is “hurting” Tesla.
So far, Tesla has not met many of its production goals, even having to lower the price of the car. Dinosaur electric car village is witnessing many competitors launching a series of new models with soft prices and better feedback.
It can be said that the Tesla electric car is not like the iPhone, but more like a BlackBerry: it explodes quickly, but it can be “quit”.