Apple CEO Tim Cook's June 5 announcement that the company is developing autonomous software should have some companies rattled. At least, Morgan Stanley thinks Tesla should be.
In a recent report from Morgan Stanley analysts, it was stated that — although Tesla appears to be a leader in the race for driverless — Apple's entrance in the field means serious competition in terms of both talent and investment capital.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas thinks Tesla should brace for impact because Apple has the resources to develop technology that could surpass what it has already created. In a recent report, Jonas and other Morgan Stanley analysts stated they predict Apple will create its own autonomous vehicle software, hardware, and launch a platform for third-party services.
It's still unknown whether Apple will focus solely on software or eventually venture out, but the Morgan Stanley analysts believe we will one day see a self-driving Apple car. Considering the company just added 1,000 engineers to its car development team — code-named Project Titan — and recently attained permission to test driverless cars in California, this prediction is pretty reasonable.
Jonas has previously expressed concern for Tesla. In mid-May, he downgraded shares of Tesla because of steep competition in the market.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, doesn't seem shaken up by any of this. When prompted for response in an interview with Morgan Stanley, Musk declined to state whether he views Apple as a competitor or potential partner. He ended the discussion by claiming that Apple's work on the car front is still unclear.
Musk's lack of concern isn't surprising, considering he has a history of looking down on Apple. In 2015, the Tesla CEO referred to Apple as the lesser of the two companies.
They have hired people we've fired. We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla Graveyard. If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding.
Based on this Morgan Stanley Report, Musk may have to eat his words.