Will Elon exploit Apple's weaknesses to make his companies more valuable than Apple?

I think he has a chance.

He's picked harder fights – taking on the entrenched rocket and auto industries with a spider's web of entrenched interests and complications.

Apple's products may be technically more advanced, but are they missing that fierceness and pure doggedness that Elon picked up in his previous fights?

Proof that Elon is Attacking Apple

Is Elon plotting to directly attack Apple and take away market share?

Recent Tweets point to just that:

And yes, it would be quite insane.

Could Elon Build an iPhone Challenger?

Elon could build a better phone that unseats the iPhone, but it would have to be a different product that's a step change better, like when iPhone first unseated Blackberry.

It could go down like this. Here's what he could do and why there's proof he could pull it off.

  • To beat the iPhone, Elon would have to build something entirely new and amazing enough for people to ditch the iPhone for this new thing. Proof: He already did it with convincing people to jump to a new car type (electric) and new car brand (Tesla) while trusting a new company, with a shorter history. People are trusting their lives with a car. So a leap to a phone wouldn't be as high-risk.
  • Elon should build the super high-end version first, then one for the masses later. He should target Tesla fanboys first. Then target anyone who drives a Tesla. Then broaden the market from there. Proof: He did exactly this with the Roadster to Model 3 playbook.
  • Elon should build-in Starlink free or by default. If Starlink becomes the new default internet connection, then this should be built into the phone as the core feature. Super-fast satellite internet that works anywhere in the world. This would solve a massive headache for people traveling abroad or not getting cell service in remote locations.

Challenges to Elon Building an iPhone Competitor

  • Apple's Ecosystem: if you leave the iPhone, you start missing out on compatibility with the entire ecosystem: Apple Watch, MacBook, iPad and Apple TV all play very well together with deep integration. Flipside: However, you could still use the iPad or Apple TV just fine and get 90% of the value without owning an iPhone.

Long time Apple stan Benedict Evans weighs in:

Roon has his ear close to the cutting edge of AI and Silicon Valley:

Chaos might ensue:

Apple's Weakness: China Supply Lines

Apple is extremely dependent on production in China via Foxconn, which could be disrupted due to geopolitical events.

Apple's Weakness: App Store Monopoly

Apple's 15-30% rake on App Store sales is a massive take, and many claim isn't fair relative to the value they provide.

Tesla's Opportunity: Bundle Tesla Car + Starlink + Phone

We see the phone as the primary device and connection to the world. But actually, one step before that may be the internet connection, which Starlink provides.

Connecting both with the phone and Teslas creates an ecosystem much like Apple has.

Elon Musk vs Tim Cook

Elon is an entrepreneur, capital allocator, M&A fiend, crazy person, genius, unhinged, and super passionate business person.

Tim Cook is a well-respected operations guy turned very smart and capable CEO that says the right things.

Elon wins in creating step-change companies and taking advantage of Apple's current slow path as a juggernaut.

Last Updated on November 29, 2022 by Joe

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