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Apple may not be the source of the next major technological moonshot, according to Steve Wozniak, with the Apple co-founder suggesting electric car producer Tesla is in the "best direction" to come up with the next big thing in tech, with Apple's potential in doing the same potentially hampered by its large size.
When asked in an interview with Bloomberg about who could make the next moonshot happen, Wozniak was hesitant about giving a definitive response before identifying Tesla as the company with the best potential. "They've put a lot of effort into very risky things," including electric cars, self-driving cars, and efficient transportation systems.
"They started with a car, the Tesla Model S, that made little sense in engineering terms in how much you have to build for what price, and what the market will be," advised Wozniak on the company's success. As for why it worked, Woz noted "It fit one person's ideal of this will be the most beautiful, elegant, and simple device to use."
"It was really built for Elon's own life. What car would he like, and when things come from yourself, knowing what you would like very much and being in control of it, that's when you get the best products."
Tesla and Apple have a considerable rivalry that has led to the two companies trying to lure employees from the other, such as MacBook Air designer Matt Casebolt moving from Apple to Tesla in January. Last year, Apple recruited Tesla's former VP of Vehicle Engineering, Chris Porritt, to work on "special projects."
Where Tesla has self-driving capabilities within its cars, Apple has also been rumored to be working in that direction as well. Known as "Project Titan," the secret project was earlier rumored to cover the construction of an Apple-designed car, but the rumors have scaled down the size of the project to in-car systems, with Apple recently found to be testing its own self-driving technology on public roads.
Aside from Tesla, CEO Elon Musk has also backed other transportation projects, including the high-speed Hyperloop transit system. More recently, he started up the Boring Company, a firm that aims to drill tunnels under cities to give an alternative transport network for commuters.
Later in the interview, Woz suggested the chances of major firms like Apple coming up with the next major breakthrough were slim, due to the risks involved. "Look at the companies like Google and Facebook and Apple and Microsoft that changed the world - and Tesla included. They usually came from young people, they didn't spring out of big businesses."
"They really came from new people who didn't know that what they were doing was so risky, and big companies don't want to take the risk."