All of Tesla’s vehicles — from the late Roadster (2008-2012), to the Model S sedan and now Model X SUV — have been understandably lauded for stretching the limits of automotive efficiency and innovation. Before a new Tesla is unveiled, we’ll all wait in earnest for CEO Elon Musk’s newest feat of engineering mastery, ready to embrace it with the requisite oohs, ahhs, and full-throated woos.
Tuesday night’s Model X launch in Fremont, California was no different of an affair for Musk, who fumbled slightly through a presentation that glossed over the electric SUV’s nifty contraptions in favor of leading with stats about its safety.
The vehicle’s tricked-out “falcon wing” doors prompted an uproar not unlike what you’d hear at a Taylor Swift concert, but others, like Model X’s “blind” cell-phone holster, which melds to any smartphone as a charging device through a universal port, should probably have elicited more shoulder shrugs than anything else.
How often does the next generation of smartphone technology completely outpace and render obsolete its predecessors? (Answer: all the time). Apple, Google, Samsung, plus boutique brands (some are simple, others are secure) don’t usually keep their products the same over a long course of time. You can look at any 3G iPhone in 2015 and see technology that’s already super outdated, a relic of the recent past. The world’s largest smartphone companies aren’t going tp rein in plans for innovation just so their products more easily adapt to a charger placed in a $132,000 SUV.
Musk acknowledged that the blind cell phone adaptor is “small,” and it’s obvious that this feature ranks lowest on Model X’s laundry list of often awe-inspiring features. It was shoehorned into his presentation as kind of an aside, overshadowed by the vehicle’s Bio Weapon Defense Mode button, which controls Model X’s air filtration.
The point here isn’t to wade through all of Model X’s amazing specs and simply call bullshit on one item because we can. It’s just that charging your phone isn’t necessarily that much of a challenge to anyone in the Western world in 2015. Having a universal phone charger in your car is nice, but it isn’t a Tesla-caliber innovation, which always exist to withstand the test of time.
Besides, you know it was just bad form when Musk, who is one of the world’s premier business geniuses, started sounding like an infomercial salesman, talking about never “having to fiddle with a bunch of wires to charge your phone.”
Inverse reached out to Telsa with specific questions regarding Model X’s “blind holster” cell phone charger. We’ll update when we hear back.