Tim Cook confirmed what we were already pretty sure we knew: He never met with Elon Musk about Apple acquiring Tesla.
In a wide-ranging New York Times interview with Kara Swisher, the Apple CEO briefly spoke about his company’s pursuit of a foothold in the growing self-driving car space. Cook exhibited typical corporate shyness regarding Apple’s vehicle projects, but he did make it clear that he has, in fact, never communicated directly with Musk.
“You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built,” Cook told the Times. “I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space. So I have a great appreciation for them.”
In December, Musk tweeted that he had considered selling Tesla to Apple for pennies on the dollar when his company was struggling. He said Cook “refused” to meet, and while Cook didn’t exactly put it that way, the end result is the same: The two never got together to talk about any potential sale.
As for the oft-rumored Apple Car, Cook didn’t give us much to work with. He declined to address whether Apple would produce a car itself or develop technology for existing vehicles, though recent rumors point to a partnership with Hyundai. The most substantial thing Cook said on the matter is that Apple works on plenty of things that never come out, even if that isn’t the case for Apple’s car project.
“We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day,” Cook said. “I’m not saying that one will not.”