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A dramatic scene illustrating the tension between Apple and AI security. The image features a high-tech office environment with the Apple logo and OpenAI’s logo integrated. On the other side, a digital Faraday cage concept for storing Apple devices. Elements representing Tesla and SpaceX, such as logos and rockets, symbolize Elon Musk's involvement. The overall tone is tense, highlighting the clash over AI and data privacy

Author: Alicia Shapiro

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes

Elon Musk Threatens Apple Device Ban Over OpenAI Partnership

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has issued a threat to prohibit the use of Apple devices by employees at his companies, following Apple's recent partnership with OpenAI. This announcement comes after Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed plans to integrate OpenAI's artificial intelligence technology into Apple's operating systems.

Musk’s Reaction to Apple-OpenAI Partnership

On Monday evening, Musk took to his social media platform X to voice his disapproval. He stated that incorporating OpenAI’s technology into Apple’s systems "is an unacceptable security violation." Musk further announced that visitors to his businesses, which include Tesla, SpaceX, and X, would have to leave their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage to prevent any communication signals.

Musk's threat, affecting more than 100,000 employees across Tesla, SpaceX, and X, adds fuel to the ongoing legal conflict between Musk and OpenAI. In March, Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, accusing the company of abandoning its original mission of prioritizing humanity over profits.

Apple’s Assurance of Privacy

Apple's announcement highlighted the partnership with OpenAI, emphasizing that user privacy would be maintained. The tech giant assured that no user data would be collected or searched when utilizing the new AI features integrated into iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. Despite these assurances, Musk remains skeptical.

"It's patently absurd that Apple isn't smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security & privacy!" Musk wrote on X. He further criticized Apple, suggesting that the company lacks control over user data once handed over to OpenAI, accusing them of compromising user security.

Legal and Competitive Backdrop

The tension between Musk and OpenAI stems from Musk's departure from OpenAI's board in 2018. Since then, he has been working on establishing his own AI company, xAI. This new venture has attracted researchers from OpenAI and other leading tech firms, aiming to "maximally benefit all of humanity," in contrast to Musk's claims against OpenAI’s profit-driven approach.

Musk’s comments reflect his broader concerns about AI ethics and security. He has frequently criticized companies and technologies that he believes fail to prioritize user privacy and data security. His recent actions indicate a willingness to take drastic measures to protect what he perceives as vulnerabilities.

Industry Reactions

The tech community is closely watching the unfolding drama between Musk and Apple. Industry analysts suggest that Musk’s threat to ban Apple devices could impact the working environment at his companies, given the widespread use of Apple products among tech professionals.

Musk's Vision for xAI

Musk’s xAI is positioned as a direct competitor to OpenAI, aiming to develop advanced AI solutions while maintaining a strong ethical framework. By recruiting top talent from OpenAI and other firms, Musk seeks to create AI technologies that align with his vision of benefiting humanity without compromising user privacy.


Elon Musk's threat to ban Apple devices in his workplaces highlights the ongoing friction between him and OpenAI, as well as his broader concerns about AI security and ethics. As Apple integrates OpenAI's technology into its operating systems, Musk’s reaction underscores the challenges and debates surrounding AI development and user privacy. The industry will be keenly observing how this conflict evolves and its implications for the future of AI.