Tesla Isn’t Apple. Elon Isn’t Steve Jobs. EVs Aren’t the Next iPhone.


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  • Analysts and industry observers have compared Tesla and CEO Elon Musk to Apple and Steve Jobs.
  • But Tesla and Apple’s similarities are surface level.
  • The key differences between the two companies and leaders are why the comparisons should end.

On paper, Apple and Tesla have a lot in common.

Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, and Tesla didn’t invent the electric car, but each has followed their chief executives’ idiosyncratic visions to come from behind and become integral parts of their respective markets.

Over the years, Wall Street experts like Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster and Morgan Stanley have gone so far as to call Tesla the Apple of the auto industry; some analysts have even asked whether Tesla would be more valuable than Apple by 2030.

More recently, however, the comparisons have started to fall apart. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, and his behavior on the social media platform itself, have spooked Tesla investors as its stock fell 65% in 2022.

What should be more concerning to investors is it’s becoming less clear by the day how Tesla itself can remain competitive in an EV market that’s growing fast and in danger of leaving the company behind.

Which is to say, where Steve Jobs led Apple with a steady, consistent (if certainly imperfect) hand, Musk’s erratic leadership style and extremely public persona show that…