> The dramatic shift to SUVs in the U.S. is driven by consumers caring less about traditional car value metrics such as performance.
The cause of this was exactly the opposite -- the CAFE rules classify SUVs as trucks and allow them to fall into a less stringent fuel economy standard. The result allows SUVs to be mass-market gasoline-powered large vehicles with powerful engines, which is no longer possible for things classified as cars. That factor is primarily what caused (big-engined) SUVs to replace station wagons and large performace sedans in the market, and the small car market is as strong as it ever was.
He also calls Ives a visionary more than once, but that was Jobs. Apple has done well under Ives because of his management ability, not his ability to develop new product markets as Jobs did.
Project Titan is a huge gamble. They're essentially trying to buy their way into a market where their competitors have a head start. Apple has the cash to potentially succeed doing that, but they could also spend billions and have it come to nothing, and it's not clear what they're adding that Waymo or Telsa or Uber doesn't already have. It seems to be some combination of "Google is doing it" and the fact that Steve Jobs saw that Telsa was onto something -- but there has been ten years of progress between then and now.
And the speculation that Apple will focus on personalization is odd. Their model is walled-garden, curation, single USB port on the MacBook, everything soldered and nothing modular, any color you want as long as it's black. If anything vehicle personalization is going to become less prevalant with autonomous vehicles as it makes it easier to share vehicles if they can show up at the location of whichever part-owner needs it at a given time, or be leased out for ride sharing when not in use.
Titan is not a gamble. It's a hobby. And from the eyes of a Trillion Dollar Company, it's not even an expensive one.
What's the worst that can happen? They spend a few more years on it, poaching talent from Tesla and other car companies and from internal teams, and end up with nothing. Sure, they might spend a few billion in the process, but they already did that building a spaceship, and spending at that level doesn't hurt their books at all.
iPhone on the other hand, was a huge gamble at the time. It had the potential to ruin the company by cannibalizing iPod sales, diluting the brand, and destroying morale of top engineers who were at the time the "best" employees they had.
What's the best thing that can happen? They launch the equivalent of an iPhone in the auto industry, figure out how to scale, and change the way people go from point a to b. They are recognized as the company that pulled off something Tesla couldn't, and Tim Cook / Jony Ives get to put their names on a revolutionary product that changed the world again.
So it's a low risk high return situation for them to work on it. Can they pull it off? I would say much more likely than "traditional" auto companies but less likely than Tesla. But again, it doesn't really matter to them (part of why chances of success are lower), and competition is a good thing. As a shareholder of TSLA, I don't want to see Elon Musk smoking weed on YouTube anymore. Somebody please take away his Twitter account too.
Much ado about nothing. One puff when it was offered to him. So what? He was much more affected by the whiskey, but curiously no one has a problem with that. He even made it clear that he doesn't use weed because he feels it affects his productivity. All you're upset about is a nonsensical stigma.
Furthermore, the actual content of the interview was interesting.
Stop trying to turn Elon into a yet another fake CEO.
Also not sure if Tesla has government contracts of significance where a security clearance would be relevant.
the problem is, he said he doesn't smoke weed because it decreases productivity, and then smokes weed anyways.
Nothing he said makes sense anymore
As far as we've come with legalizing marijuana and shifting societies perception about cannabis, the vestiges of the old order still exist.
Otherwise I think there's a serious market opportunity to be exploited.
Why would all of today’s young engineers, who collectively consume marijuana and concentrates by the ton, suddenly take issue with one of their foremost peers partaking in the same activity? It makes more sense that the older investors who are making a bet on this generation’s promising stallion, in their eyes, are seeing what is to them, aberrant behavior. Given how often and well honored the theme of “older generation not progressing with the times” is, seems much more likely especially when thought in the same context as Occam’s Assertion.
The problem is that, he said he wouldn't do X because he thinks it decreases productivity, and then goes and does X.
That's the problem
The "X" in this case has too wide of a range of interpretation to jump the gun on hypocrisy.
How long do you go without eating? I find that fasting increases mental clarity.
But the whiskey was ok with you? Should CEO's have to hide their recreational drug (of which alcohol is a subset) use?
FWIW I also hold TSLA and want to see them succeed but a puff of weed (that he didn't inhale) is the least of our concerns.
That said, we can probably both agree 3 hours of sleep rather than an interview with Joe Rogan probably would have been the smart move.
That said, I think Musk's move was colossally dumb. Tesla's valuation is based in large part on future expectations, and those expectations are deeply tied with Musk personally in a way that's true for very few other companies.
If Tesla were in the black and shipping lots of cars, he could have done this happily. But people have a lot of very reasonable concerns about Tesla. One of those concerns is that the CEO is getting erratic under pressure. Publicly dating and breaking up with a pop star. Spending his time shitposting on Twitter. Calling a hero of the Thai cave rescue a pedophile, and then doubling down on it. Announcing he was taking the company private and then changing his mind.
Given that, video of him smoking weed would have been foolish on its own. Doing that at the same time Tesla announced two executive resignations? Absurd. And given that one of those resignations was the Chief Accounting Officer leaving after 29 days? Plain dumb. It makes him look entirely irresponsible.
Is he being irresponsible with the business? Who knows. But Musk knows better than anybody how much of Tesla's valuation is based on his own very personalized PR efforts. He should go find a crisis communications consultant. And then listen to them.
What I don't understand is, why isn't the board putting him under severe pressure to do this? Something like: Musk old buddy old pal, you need to pull your head in for another year or so, then maybe he can go on a "sabbatical", without your Twitter password, and have a massive bender.
All the more embarrassing for them!
The narrative seems to be that the person joined, and then left because of Musk's erratic public behaviors. What really concerns me is what the guy found out to leave so quickly. Or what Musk did to him that made him leave.
Not sure if its different for C-level folks but changing jobs is a huge personal decision that people generally don't take lightly. The person had to have know about the erratic public behavior before, so maybe it was something else.
> Investors are nervous because CEO appears erratic under pressure.
> Investors apply pressure in response to erratic behavior.
If an investor truly believes that he’s acting erratic under pressure, then the best response is not changing the type of pressure to societal and financial pressure.
The investor isn’t interested in what’s best for the CEO or company further than the extent to which that’s good for the investor.
Someone who owns shares in a company like this has multiple options. One option is to sell your shares and be done with it, assuming you think the problem is insurmountable. But if you remain invested, you can still do things that reduce the problem or things that exacerbate the problem. The last one seems particularly counterproductive.
Controversy is not always a bad thing, even when your company has problems.
There is also this business with the short sellers. That may explain at least part of this lately -- all people regularly do random small-scale unwise things but most of the time (even for celebrities) nobody cares. But take some rich short sellers who already kind of dislike you and publicly challenge them to a duel, when they already had a profit motive to cause your company's shares to decline, and is it any surprise if they put their dirt finding and publicizing apparatus into overdrive?
That still doesn't excuse Musk's behavior. Especially since this should have been a predictable consequence of challenging them so he should be keeping his nose extra clean. But it isn't an implausible explanation for the sudden rise in bad press.
I’m in that camp. I want viable, cost-effective on their own merits, electric cars. I want a vibrant, accessible space industry. I want extra-terrestrial coloNization planning.
I’m short TSLA (about 25% of my liquid investment balance) since the summer not because I hate Musk, but because I believe it’s personally profitable to be so due to the utterly insane valuation. Near flawless execution is baked in on a manufacturing company likely less than 15 months from being out of cash.
I wish Musk well. I hope he navigates through the challenges ahead for the good of humankind. Even if he does so fairly successfully, I like the expected value of my short position.
I'm less sure about that. They have risk, certainly, but they could stumble somewhat or have to raise more funding and still ultimately end up doing as much business as Ford or GM.
Their valuation is slightly higher than that because if everything really goes their way they could end up as the electric version of Toyota at more than three times their current market cap. With higher margins because of the simpler powertrain, which reduces both manufacturing costs for Tesla and maintenance costs for customers who are correspondingly more willing to pay a higher purchase price.
Or they could fail outright or become a small irrelevant electric supercar company.
The efficient market hypothesis says their valuation should approximate their risk-adjusted actual value. Which is always wrong by a little, usually not by a lot.
The interesting thing here is that they're a rather large company that nonetheless has potentially high volatility, which is actually pretty unusual, and invites speculation (and therefore drama). And if a $45B valuation is a result of a 40% chance at a continued $45B valuation and a 15% chance at a $180B valuation, the valuation is correct even though some people may lose their shirts. We just don't know which people yet.
No sane investor will pay $45 for a 40% chance of $45 and 15% chance of $180 in 8 or 10 years.
(I agree with your premise, but the numbers need to be larger such that their present value, not future value solves.)
Even after the big selloff, Tesla's market cap is still higher than GM's. Its valuation is extraordinarily high in large part because Musk has hyped it to the heavens. That has given him an amazingly low cost of capital and enormous free advertising. But the downside is that people who aren't drinking the koolaid can reasonably think that the valuation is too high, and want to bet accordingly. GM has 1/10th the short position because most people think the stock is priced correctly. Tl;dr: Musk's hype made some people go long and some go short. That's what talking a stock up does.
The rise in bad press isn't primarily due to the short-sellers. Plenty of reasonable analysts are concerned about Tesla's repeated failure to meet projections, long-running manufacturing issues, and bad cash position. That's a good chunk of the press. But I think the bulk of it comes from a) the inevitable turning of the hype cycle, and b) Musk's own public antics. Short-sellers didn't make him call a hero a pedophile. They didn't make him spend a lot of time shitposting on Twitter. They didn't make him sell flamethrowers or date Grimes or have Azlea Banks over. They didn't make him smoke weed on camera. They certainly didn't make him write to a reporter to double down, calling the cave diver a "child rapist". 
I feel bad for the guy; I know from personal experience that entrepreneurship is high stress. But he knew what he was getting into, and he could be handling this a lot better.
Part of that is because GM has a low valuation relative to e.g. their sales volume, because they not so long ago had to be bailed out by the government, are loaded up with debt, and are facing the prospect of a market shift toward electric and autonomous cars that may favor new entrants over incumbents.
> Plenty of reasonable analysts are concerned about Tesla's repeated failure to meet projections, long-running manufacturing issues, and bad cash position. That's a good chunk of the press.
Sure, but none of that is really new and is the sort of thing analysts always cover about any company.
> Short-sellers didn't make him call a hero a pedophile. They didn't make him spend a lot of time shitposting on Twitter. They didn't make him sell flamethrowers or date Grimes or have Azlea Banks over. They didn't make him smoke weed on camera. They certainly didn't make him write to a reporter to double down, calling the cave diver a "child rapist".
It's not that they made him do it, it's that they may be spurring coverage of things like that even though they have little to do with the fundamentals of the business. Half the people are saying he should take a vacation and the other half (or maybe the same people) are saying he shouldn't be wasting time shitposting on Twitter as though he should be working 24/7. So is he working too much or not enough?
It's more probable than not that he should take a short vacation (or some other kind of break) and stop shit-posting on Twitter. Those aren't mutually exclusive options.
Temporarily taking a slightly lower profile and spending his focus on things that actually matter to his companies (cave divers, pop stars, and short-sellers are not in that set, IMO) would probably be good for everyone/everything that Musk cares about.
What I'm asking is, why do people care? It can't just be because other people do. It takes a significant number of people to care for no good reason before it makes sense to care just because other people do.
It's simultaneously possible to be against Musk continuing to do things like that and be against the media continuing to cover it as though it should matter.
As to why other people care, people love celebrity gossip, especially “bad” gossip. It sells ads and clicks and generates conversation. At some point, it becomes self-sustaining. I agree that it’s terribly uninteresting in general to me.
Note that I believe his erratic and lightly considered Twitter posts are one thing (ignorable) generally, but I think the $420/“funding secured” tweet to be much more likely legitimate news and quite likely of the “watch me burn these shorts!” securities fraud variety. There is an extent to which such legitimate interest in that tweet brings interest in his other tweets to understand whether the CEO of a many-multi-billion market cap company is prone to communications that put his company/others’ investments at risk. I suspect that extent is less than what is being covered, because it’s a justification for why (largely) respected financial news sources are now able to cover salacious details of his private life with plausible explanation as to why.
He could have pursued Tesla in a quiet, modest way. Instea of making bold predictions, he could have underpromised and overdelivered, letting results do the talking. He could have stayed out of the limelight, remaining just another CEO.
We all know what he did instead. And that surely got him a low cost of capital and a ton of free PR, so it's reasonable to argue it was the right business move. But having put himself in the spotlight and made it all about Elon, I don't think it's reasonable to claim it's unfair that he's now in the spotlight.
If we're being purely rational, people shouldn't care about the technology genius mystique, and they shouldn't worship high-profile business executives. But they do, and Musk grabbed that with both hands. He can't do that, glory in the upsides, and be upset about the downsides. It's a package deal.
Yes, given the fact that weed isn't federally legal and the fact that it could compromise SpaceX contracts with the air force it shows a shocking lack of judgment. It looks like he's coming unglued.
Until weed is actually legal federally, it's absolutely insane for the face of such a large company to take that risk.
Not a moral judgment, just a legal reality.
If that's true, then you have a good point that I hadn't considered. I can't fathom that could ever become a reality, but my "that will never happen" sense has been way off lately.
The articles floating around are all speculation designed to pull in click/views, which you can immediately tell since none of them cited a source and even worse, mentioned having a source.
The Verge has recently turned mostly into a clickbaity outlet. I stopped visiting the site after I watched the Tesla Q2 2018 conference and them immediately releasing a video with a sensational headline claiming many things like "Elon almost lost his job", “Tesla is in trouble” which contradict the facts and were not representative of the event at all.
The fact that the federal government has not pressed the issue is telling as to which way they think courts will rule.
Add to that his level of importance (vs some military office worker with a clearance) and I’d say he’s at a much higher risk.
Flaunting it actually makes it less of a security risk in some ways; for one things no one is going to blackmail him with the threat of exposing it.
I thought it looked off but I figured she knew better than I did. It’s not exactly word I use all the time.
The agent who interviewed me said, "Are you the kind of person who speeds and owns up to it, or are you the kind of person who speeds and lies about it?" One of those is risky but generally acceptable.
I dunno. We're in a weird time. I can point to a few people that, i think, should not have clearances. But compartmentalization is a thing, perhaps those folks don't have a need to know the kinds of things i worry about.
My super casual, outside observer view is, the military might provide some facts and figures about payloads, but they're not saying this telescope can resolve .1mm from geosynchronous orbit. they're saying, it weighs this much and can withstand this much acceleration. There will likely be new revised policies on what's shared with spaceX about their payloads. But does anyone think Musk actions would lead him to be compromised?
(That represents my understanding of the clearance processes' view of the issue, not my personal beliefs).
It’s not even about the drug use. Just a general lack of professionalism. Like if he showed up for this interview and ate 3 gallons of ice cream. Why is he participating in such stupid bits for a radio show?
The galaxy brain take is that Elon has always been doing this, and his dumb flamethrower thing is what should get people mad. Don’t tweet about lack of sleep while wasting your time on dumb jokes
I mean people are allowed to have fun , but a bit less so when the company they’re supposed to be running is supposedly falling apart
This is the final straw in this regard!? This is nothing. It's just him smoking a spliff on Joe Rogan's podcast. He's done like ten more ridiculous things that are unprofessional in public in the last 6 months that I can recall off the top of my head.
Gambling billions of dollars is gambling billions of dollars even when you have a trillion. And everything is tiny compared to their capitalization. They could buy General Motors and burn it to the ground for ~4% of their market cap. That doesn't make it a good idea.
The question isn't what percent of their company size it is, it's whether it's a cost effective use of shareholder money. And best case vs. worst case doesn't tell you anything until you consider the probability of each.
But lets leave out the technicalities. Call it a gamble, stupid investment, whatever. Yes, I agree a billion is a lot of money. Apple still needs to have this project, in order to stay relevant to competitors and current/potential employees. Even if it does fail, the side effects of having this project mainly to attract talented engineers and stay relevant make it worth the investment.
Sure, but that's mostly because a startup has a very high risk profile, because success or failure is existential. In nearly all other cases, even for smallish companies, the risk is lower, even for employee number 3. If you're a small doctor's office and you hire a crappy receptionist, you'll have a bad time but you'll survive. If your startup hires a bad marketing person and some competitor popularizes their tech before you do, game over.
And once we're not talking about existential risk, we're talking about dollar risk. Which doesn't depend that much on who you are. If it costs ten billion dollars to have a 10% chance to make fifty billion dollars, is it worth it?
> Apple still needs to have this project, in order to stay relevant to competitors and current/potential employees. Even if it does fail, the side effects of having this project mainly to attract talented engineers and stay relevant make it worth the investment.
But it's a secret. How is it helping them attract anyone if nobody knows about it? They may even have something actually interesting but we won't know until they reveal it (or it leaks), and in the meantime it sounds like pretty boring and expensive follow-the-leader behavior.
And if it does fail they won't even tell anyone about it.
Well, yes and no. If you're incommunicado in some kind of locked room with a timebombed offer, sure, if you can't afford to lose the money you say no. But if someone actually offered you a 1% chance at a trillion dollars for a million dollars, you take the offer and then immediately sell the company that owns the contract for ten billion dollars and pocket the ten billion dollars.
Or sell half of it for five billion dollars and keep the other half.
They don't need to announce it publicly. Only to intended recipients.
It would only cannibalize iPod sales if it was a success, and then it isn't a problem at all.
I don't think Apple's going to create modular cars where you can swap out hardware or that just come in a variety of form factors. If they create customizable cars (if they get into the car biz at all), it'll be through software. Tesla already hints at some of the possibilities here: on the same hardware platform you can upgrade your autopilot or performance, even your range. (I have a 60D, which has a 75KWh battery. I can order an online software upgrade to a 75D for $2K.) That's just what Tesla already does. I can't imagine what Apple might offer, but the possibilities are intriguing.
If they don't, then you're already paying for it. I think it was a mistake to do it like this, and it made all Model 3's more expensive than they could have been.
It may be new in the world of consumer cars, but it’s not new under the sun.
No sedan meets that requirement. I have to buy a midsize+ SUV or minivan, period.
Even for my personal use, cars are uncomfortable and painful for me to use. I drove a 1999 Accord until recently as a commuter. The 2018 Accord was too low for me (to meet the CAFE targets) and most midsize sedans has similar challenges. I ended up choosing between a Honda Fit, a Honda Pilot, BMW X3 or Chevy Tahoe. I ended up with the Pilot as a trade off between comfort/efficiency/cost.
The fetishization of ridesharing in the Valley and on HN reveals the blind spot of the culture of tech — family. Try using Uber to move two adults and 2-3 kids.
Tesla is on a death match to outrun the rest of the auto industry. It can't afford mistakes. If 3 doesn't work it's screwed. Musk pushes those people so hard they could well burn out first.
I'd much rather be Apple than Tesla.
> The second factor is vehicle size, specifically the distance from the front of a vehicle to its occupant compartment. The longer this is, the lower the forces on the occupants.
A compact car and a crossover are typically about the same length. A "mini car" is shorter than that, which is what compromises its safety. And unlike making the vehicle heavier, making the nose longer doesn't harm the occupants of the other vehicle in a two party collision, and does actually help you in a collision with a massive stationary object (e.g. overpass) whereas weight in that case does almost nothing.
It’s not actually that bad, which I was quite worried about, but it is an inconvenience.
The irony is when I started driving a van or an SUV would let you see above almost everyone and give you a great view. Everyone moved up for that reason (among others) and now it’s not an advantage at all.
And crossovers are cars. A Subaru Forester used to be called a station wagon, now it's a crossover.
Most of them also have a similar power to weight ratio to a 1980s 5.0 liter V8 Mustang, so I still don't see the argument that people stopped caring about performance.
I have a Kia Niro that is classified as an SUV by the manufacture and insurance company. It gets about 50mpg in the summer. I look at it and compare it to my old 1984 Chevy Citation II. It is almost the same size and the Citation was a "hatchback". Look, your crossover is a station wagon, and a lot of SUVs are just hatchbacks.
Robotaxis will be more personalized than privately owned ones. Rather than be limited to a single one-sided fits all form factor for all your transportation needs, you'll be able to call upon the optimal vehicle depending on whether you're commuting, hauling a load, going on a road trip, spending a lavish night on the town, or sending your kids to soccer practice.
This is the opposite of personalization. It's commodification. Instead of your car personalized to your specifications to fit into your niche, you get a dozen generic categories and decide that today you'll be summoning Generic Touring Vehicle but tomorrow it will be Generic Multi-Personnel Transport Vehicle or Generic Light Duty Towing Vehicle.
The fact that they offer fries in three different sizes doesn't mean yours is personalized because you picked the medium one.
Other examples of personalized things: A caricature of you drawn at a carnival, the local chef who knows just how you like your meal, that thing your nephew made you in shop class, etc.
In tech it usually means using the surveillance the company has conducted on you to make search suggestions and things like that. But people are increasingly finding that creepy and invasive, so it's not clear more of that is going to be a winner in the transportation market. Even historically it has been mostly backfill to rationalize the surveillance. Having some cloud surveillance technology literally following you around and recording your whereabouts isn't exactly the same kind of warm feeling you get from your favorite chef knowing how you like your dinner.
Whether those are frivolous, I think is in the eye of the beholder.
Did you mean Cook?
You're right, I was thinking of Cook. I would actually be more inclined to agree with calling Jony Ive a visionary when I haven't confused the two of them with each other.
It's really still the same trouble though. It's good that they have Ive to do his piece, but they still need someone to do the separate piece that Jobs used to do.
It’s not clear what they’re adding that BlackBerry and Nokia or Motorola doesn’t already have..
— something we could have said just before iPhone arrived.
So no, it wasn’t clear for any outsiders that he iPhone was even going to be a success. And like plenty times before people where predicting the death of Apple due to their stupidity of going into a different market.
I doubt the Beats acquisition is about the technology behind their headphones, especially with their questionable acoustics engineering . The music service sounds more plausible, but then it wouldn't be about technology either.
That's the reason Apple can't acquire other large companies. Few companies have Apple's margins. Most acquisitions would drag them down. Even if they're profitable.
Not in a world where Apple's cash isn't so scarce that it has to choose either, but can choose both.
The real question is, do investments in the car space get it a better return than whatever the return they had on their cash, which was likely quite small, too, and with no upside.
Cars suffer from a tragedy of the commons, even if you have the best Apple iCar in the world with self-driving, you will still get stuck in traffic because of all the people who don't.
If Apple wants to improve the experience of cars they need to start a political party because that is a local governance problem not a design problem.
An Apple Care would be as if Apple wanted to get into the house market. HomeKit+devices, Apple TV, HomePod etc. are analogous to what Apple could achieve in the car space. I can't see them releasing anything better than a fully autonomous Tesla that allows you to AirPlay to the center screen.
It almost saddens me to see them poaching talent from Tesla when Tesla has so much momentum right now. I don't see Apple achieving anything Tesla won't in the long term. Instead, they're just going to delay how long it takes Tesla to get there.
Err, Beats? Their technology was shit, Apple bought a millenial brand.
The headphone brand was a nice to have, premium image and all.
Apple didn’t need people to tell them how to make headphones, they were already capable of that.
a) Elon is having a mental breakdown
b) Titan will die because of design by committee
For example, Magna Steyr builds the E-Pace for Jaguar, the Countryman for Mini and the G-Wagon for Daimler in Graz, Austria.
It also developed several cars on behalf of manufacturers such as the Audi TT, Fiat Bravo and Peugeot RCZ.
There were even rumors in Graz that execs from Cupertino have flown here to discuss the possibility of Magna building a car for Apple.
TFA said they have (or speculatively have, don't remember?) a partnership with VW so it wouldn't be too far fetched for an Apple branded VW robocar in the works. Extra props for it being on the microbus platform.
I bet Honda, Toyota, or maybe forward would be happy to do it for the right price. As long as they don’t think Apple is too big of a competitor it seems like a win-win. And since we all know Apple is going to be focusing on the high-end/luxury segment it might be worth their while.
Reliability is not just a part of performance. When it comes to cars, reliability is its own category and it's every bit as important as the others. How many cars are great performers but are rendered impractical by their lack of reliability? For many people, reliability trumps all other considerations. Personally, I'll pay extra and put up with a slower, clunkier vehicle if just works.
Apple no longer produces particularly reliable software or hardware. Tesla is having problems doing that themselves. The marriage of the two? It would take a lot to make me trust a vehicle made by these two companies in partnership.
If anything, Apple needs to acquire or partner with a proven auto company with a track-record of producing reliable designs. Quite frankly, Tesla would benefit from doing the same. Their vehicles are exciting in terms of their performance, but the reliability just isn't there yet.
Toyota Camry is the car with the track record for reliability.
I can't stand Apple's products of the last ~7 years, but I wouldn't bet against them in nearly any regard. They have the resources to weather any storm.
There’s certainly a dearth of groundbreaking category defining new products, but you have to be blind to what is actually going into the intervals of each successive iPhone model to claim there’s no innovation happening.
Personally I think the level of expertise, technology, and craftsmanship which has gone into the iPhone line is astounding. They have absolutely mastered the form factor to the point where you take it completely for granted.
But my point isn’t at all that you have to agree with every outward design decision. My point is that the internals reveal an incredible amount of engineering prowess of their own right. The stacked circuit boards in the X, along with the FaceID suite of sensors, and I’m particularly fond of how well it all integrates with the secure element, for example.
Also have to mention the camera — the “portrait” mode pictures are so beautiful and easy — all my favorite photos were shot on iPhone while my EOS collects dust.
Edit: I should add — it was removing the Home button which actually is my favorite part of the X. I love swiping all around the phone and not having that clunky button to click, or worse, double click.
 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0786VF6PS/
There was nothing close to them on the market when they came out. You either had to have terrible battery life, much larger headphones, or pay a TON more money.
I’m with you on the camera. If Apple made a camera I’d buy it in a heartbeat. The responsiveness and quality they can get out of that ridiculously tiny sensor is extremely impressive. Imagine what they could do with an APS-C or Micro 4/3s.
You already mentioned some of their other amazing tech like Face ID. The role they’ve been on with the A-series chips since they started taking the designs in house has also been pretty incredible.
I bought these  which lock them in perfectly but defeats their ease-of-use because you have to remove them to fit them back in the charger-case of course.
Some people have had luck with hole-punch sized waterproof tape  which I haven’t tried but has the advantage of not interfering with the case.
 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019BREFE4
 - https://lifehacker.com/keep-your-airpods-in-your-ears-with-t...
I greatly prefer the Shure line (style) of earbuds. The shape works great for my ears. But I had grown weary of the tethered cable. (And the jack is going away.)
It took me way too long to figure out the MMCX connector allows me to mix & match. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMCX_connector
There's a few different styles and mfg of bluetooth audio cables. And of course a zillion earbuds.
Here's the low-end Shure SE215 http://a.co/d/39g7Mbr
Here's one of the cheapo ($20) cables I bought Luxray http://a.co/d/8ux9eg7
The Luxray is meh, okay. Fantastic for $20. But I'd like something more modern, full featured.
A generic MMCX & bluetooth & codec base cable would be a great kickstarter project. I'd happily pay $200 for something that was robust, (firmware) upgradeable.
I envision the same base electronics available in different form factors, eg Jaybird-style necklace, Bose-style neck horseshoe, lanyard-style dangly thing.
When comparing bluetooth cables, be mindful of the codecs supported. The cheapos I bought support AAC, allegedly best (preferred) for my Apple gear. I've read that aptX (and later) is best for Android.
I understand it a little bit, how would you advertise to people how they’re supposed to figure out which ‘fit’ they should buy? It is easier just to make one that fits the majority of people (whether that’s 60% or 90% I don’t know) and just avoid the issue.
I’ve used wired headphones maybe twice in the 18 months since I got my AirPods. In ten years almost no phones will have analog audio jacks and (almost) no one will care.
I produce salty remarks. McDonald's produces salty food. Therefore McDonald's should buy me out as a way of quickly jumping into the HN snark industry.
I am still on the fence but the job sounds interesting, its just that its a big corporate and I am skeptical they will be able to take on Tesla's monopoly on electric vehicles.
Any major manufacturer can roll out an equivalent car globally anytime and get in front of a Tesla in a heartbeat. I bet your new company will give you anything you need to do just that.
And yet no manufacturer so far has been willing to even match the last 20%, let alone exceed it.
How is that statement supported by sales data?
And that's only because the former is supply-constrained.