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Tesla CEO Elon Musk takes to Twitter to soften comments on Apple, praise beautiful watch design

Yesterday we reported on comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. The CEO, known for speaking his mind candidly on occasions, made comments that could easily have been interpreted as critical to the design of the Apple Watch and the quality of the company’s hires from Tesla, but Friday afternoon Musk took to Twitter to soften those comments. His initial comments were in reference to the so-called “poaching war” between Tesla and Apple over automotive engineers. “They have hired people we’ve fired,” Musk said. “We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple.”

Musk then briefly explained why he is not worried about Apple entering the electric vehicle industry:

Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? (laughs) No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.

These comments were made last month during Musk’s visit in Europe, but U.S. media only picked up the comments yesterday and the CEO took to Twitter Friday afternoon to clarify:

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These comments shouldn’t come as a surprise since Musk has been vocal in the past about hoping for Apple to enter the auto industry with an electric car.

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Musk mentioned Apple’s Chief Design Officer by name to congratulate him and his team on the design of the watch. Coincidentally both executives were at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit earlier this week. Ive shared the stage with director J.J. Abrams, while Musk had a discussion with Y Combinator President Sam Altman moderated by New York Times and CNBC contributor Andrew Ross Sorkin.

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