- On Friday, Elon Musk implied on Twitter that Tesla could soon become bigger than Apple.
- Musk quickly deleted the tweet, but not before many users screenshotted and shared it.
- In 2018, the SEC filed a charge against Musk because of his tweets about Tesla.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk deleted a tweet on Friday that implied Tesla would become a bigger company than Apple, the world's largest company, "within a few months"
The conversation on Twitter about Tesla's market value was started by an account called @WholeMarsBlog. The account often promotes Tesla content and wrote "Tesla is going to be bigger than Apple."
Musk responded to the tweet indicating that he agreed.
"I think there is a >0% chance Tesla could be the biggest company," Musk tweeted.
-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2021
Another user said "I love the direction of that arrow!" Musk responded, "Probably within a few months," implying the company could soon become more larger than Apple. Tesla's $584 billion market value was about 30% of Apple's $2.01 trillion at Friday's prices.
Musk deleted the tweet shortly after it was sent. He left his original response, but many users took screenshots of his deleted tweet and shared them.
-Dave (@TeslasDave) March 26, 2021
While Tesla and Apple don't directly compete, that could soon change as the iPhone giant reportedly plans to release its own autonomous electric car by 2024.
JP Morgan analysts have said Tesla may lose its dominance in the electric car industry as more prominent brands step in and take market share. In February, Tesla showed signs it was losing its lead, as the Mustang Mach-E cut into sales.
This is not the first time Musk's tweets have gotten him in hot water
Some Twitter accounts called for other users to delete their screenshots of Musk's deleted tweet, out of fear the CEO might face repercussions.
On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board asked Musk to delete a tweet about Tesla employee's union efforts. As of publication the tweet is still up.
"Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union," Musk wrote in 2018. "Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when plant was UAW & everybody already gets 22."
-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 21, 2018
Earlier this month, a Tesla investor sued Musk and the company's board, claiming Musk's "erratic" tweets violate a settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And in 2018, the SEC charged Tesla's CEO with securities fraud for tweeting that he would take Tesla private if the stock hit $420. As a result of the charge, Musk stepped down as chairman of the company and agreed to steps that would allow his public statements related to Tesla to be screened, though he was not forced to admit any guilt.
Musk's impact on the stock market via Twitter is well documented. Last year, he tweeted"Tesla stock is too high imo," and the stock dropped 10%.
He has also been very vocal on social media about investing, including helping to push GameStop stock during the GameStop frenzy, as well as continually promoting bitcoin and dogecoin on his account.
It is unclear whether Musk deleted the tweet on his own or was asked to take the tweet down as part of the the prior SEC agreement.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.