Elon Musk tends to be attractive between talent and madness, making him a lot of interesting things to see if you’re not an investor.
Investors have so many moments that they may regret contributing to Musk’s companies, as he makes the securities involved and some cryptocurrencies much more volatile than usual.
A recent rumor that Musk has highlighted is the creation of a Tesla phone with a unique set of features.
The phone has a lot of meaning to where Tesla is going, especially the fence against Apple’s rumored electric car.
Let’s explore the potential of a Tesla phone this week. Then we’ll end up with my product of the week, the most comfortable set of headphones I’ve ever tested.
Tesla’s Apple problem
Tesla and Apple take a similar approach to their respective markets, and both enjoy similar advantages.
Apple was built by a charismatic leader Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk did a better job of reflecting Jobs’ unique approach to product management and creation than Tim Cook.
Both companies have impressive brand loyalty to customers, accurate market valuations, and some large companies are on the hunt for them.
Tesla doesn’t market much and has a history of poor quality control. Although Apple has significantly reduced its marketing activity, apple is basically still leading the market in this respect, and Apple tends to set standards for product quality.
There is a very high correlation between iPhone users and Tesla buyers. So if Apple comes up with a car that’s heavily integrated into Apple’s ecosystem, it could make up a significant portion of Tesla’s.
Of all the upcoming challengers to Tesla, Apple is the biggest threat due to customer loyalty, visibility, and a large marketing budget. Apple’s reserves make it a fearsome competitor in the future to Tesla.
Finally, smartphones are becoming the key on new Tesla cars, and they’ve been somewhat integrated with Tesla’s in-car audiovisual technology. Apple will have a leg with that integration and could disrupt interoperability with Tesla while steering Apple users away from Telsa’s cars. This last thing is probably prompting Musk to consider making his phone.
The phone is rumored to be expected to feature Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 8 Series solution, colors that match Tesla’s car color, work better as an automotive key for Tesla cars than any other phone, and (this is the iffy part) connect to Starlink.
This last thing is quite difficult because, usually, for a smartphone to connect to a satellite requires a large antenna and a much more powerful radio. However, if they can make it work, it will provide a big, unique advantage for Tesla phone users, who can get a relatively high bandwidth connection years before 5G is available to them.
I think the better path would be to put a satellite connection into a car, which could better hide the large antenna and then let the phone connect via the car when there is no 5G network or when you want to watch movies (to get around the data limit). The car will then have an always-on satellite connection for remote operation and report attempted thefts or damage to the parking lot in a more reliable way.
Last but not least, with smartphones becoming the key to cars, Tesla phones can be further integrated with your Tesla car.
For example, it may have dedicated buttons to lock, unlock, locate the car and call for help using the car’s external speakers to attract attention. The phone will also help the car determine your location if you have self-driving features and want it to pick you up, this will be especially useful for those of us who forget where we parked our car.
If Elon Musk had a vision beyond Tim Cook with the Apple Watch, then he would make those features configurable so they could work with other cars, and the phone could be a foot in the door that attracted those people to buy Teslas’ cars.
Oh, and as a small note, a Tesla smartwatch that works with cars might be even more interesting, but I haven’t heard rumors about it yet. (By the way, there’s a Tesla watch. It’s not a smart watch and it’s not Tesla’s either. I have one and it’s pretty cool.
In regards to creating a phone that works well, keep in mind that Qualcomm helped Apple with the first iPhone, and they’ve become a lot more capable since then. With Qualcomm’s help, Tesla started with market-leading phone technology and will need more features for cars, something it’s certainly more likely to do.
Tesla may be better than Apple at integrating cars and phones.
While neither Tesla nor Apple have proven to be great partners, Qualcomm can work well with anyone and has succeeded in getting Apple started when they are far behind the present.
With Qualcomm’s help, Tesla is likely to close the advantage of Apple’s phone technology. Qualcomm has more automotive experience than Apple, thanks to their work with AV on cars and autonomous driving.
Although Tesla is downplaying the phone business, Qualcomm will help close that gap; In terms of cars, Tesla knows more than Apple. If Tesla can improve its quality to the level it needs to — a big thing in terms of its history — then they’ll deliver a better driving experience than Apple could have done very early on.
In addition, the legal hurdles surrounding building a car are much harder to overcome than building a phone, so Tesla is said to have time in the market with Qualcomm much faster than Apple with just its new car.
Ironically, Steve Jobs preferred cars to Tim Cook, which suggests that Apple’s first car was most likely to be Apple’s Zune. If that Apple car is a disaster, then it will likely be not just Elon Musk’s day — but Steve Ballmer’s because he’s the father of Zune and would appreciate Apple having a similar experience.
UE is suitable for headphones
I’m not a person who likes to listen to music. I tend to lose them; they tend to make my ears itch and they tend to look bad.
UE Fits from Ultimate Ears retails for $249 (currently on sale for $169), but they have a tip that can make them worthwhile to you. They heat the inside while setting them up, allowing the part that goes into your ear to press against your ear for perfect fit.
This product feels very next generation.
A few years ago, I had a similar set of headphones, but you had to leave the headphones in hot water until they were flexible and then, before cooling, put them in your ear to fit. I never understood that, so I used these headphones that didn’t fit, which was less than ideal.
These UE Fits will take you through the mounting process as part of the setup, providing good sound when in use, and due to being so fit they don’t fall out, which often makes me hate the headphones (did I mention that I’m forever losing them?).
They come in three colors: Eclipse (midnight blue looks black), Cloud (gray) and Dawn (lilac).
It should be known that only Eclipse is available at the time of writing this article, the other colors have sold out, but I think eclipse color is the best.
They come with just a pair of headphones, but if they don’t fit, contact the people of Ultimate Ears and they will send a different set of different sizes for free.
UE Fits does not feature active noise cancellation, which is unusual for a product at this price. However, I suspect they need it with extremely tight fit and the ability to de-noise actively on the headphones is always uncertain.
UE Fits is a unique type of earbuds and is a suitable bargain right now if you can live with blue/black; although getting them at Christmas, due to shipping problems, is very risky. But since they feel good in my ears, are less likely to be lost and are a bargain at the moment, UE Fits is my product of the week.