When I asked those smartphone bears in 2000 and 2001 if they actually had a BlackBerry, most of them said "No, why would I want to look at my email all the time?" They had never used one. Three years later, every single smartphone skeptic I knew had one. Fast forward to today. All you needed to do in order to know that the Tesla Model S was going to be an awesome car is to have driven any of the other good electric cars already in the market: Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Fisker Karma, BMW 1-series Electric or Ford ( F) Focus Electric. Yes, I know those are not all the same -- and certainly they are different from the Tesla Model S -- but they are all basically very impressive to drive. Most of them cost materially less than the Tesla. If you just extrapolate a little, you would easily arrive at the conclusion that the probability of the Tesla being great to drive, would be extremely high. Depending on the configuration, the Tesla's got around 400 silent, torque-drenched horses, for pete's sake! And a 17-inch monitor that makes Apple look like an ancient Luddite backwater company! And you thought people taking a first test drive in the Tesla wouldn't be impressed? But the Tesla bears didn't do their homework. If they had just spent some time behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Volt, for example, they would not likely have dared being short Tesla. At 93% customer satisfaction, the Volt received the highest rating by Consumer Reports. Double the price and the Tesla wouldn't somehow make for an impressive test drive? C'mon! There are several reasons Tesla is a guaranteed success, absent an entirely possible out-of-left-field snafu. Steve Jobs once said that on an Apple computer screen, the icons needed to be finger-licking good. That pretty much describes the Tesla Model S control panel.
Which brings us to Apple. Ask yourself the question: What value would Apple bring to the TV market, actually making television sets? Giants such as Samsung and Vizio dominate the TV market today, selling outstanding panels at razor-thin margins. You can get your Apple experience on the TV by spending $99 on the Apple TV box, simply plugging it into any relatively modern TV. The TV might cost $700. Apple would surely charge at least $1,200 for its own equivalent integrated Apple TV. Now, do you want to spend $799 or $1,200 for that Apple TV experience?