Elon Musk is open to the possibility of producing a phone to compete with Apple’s iPhone, if the issues concerning Twitter's place within the Apple and Google app stores are not resolved satisfactorily.
Although there have been rumors of a "Tesla Pi Phone" that pop up from time to time, there is no hard proof that such a phone is in development, let alone production.
However, that may eventually change if the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter is given enough reason to.
Could the controversial entrepreneur who bought Twitter for $44 billion make moves to compete with the biggest mobile phone companies in the globe? Check out the details below.
In a response to American conservative political commentator, author, and podcast host Elizabeth Wheeler’s tweet, Elon Musk expressed his willingness to produce his own brand of phone to compete with iOS and Android products:
I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
The two largest mobile device and app platforms in the world may drop Twitter from their stores if Twitter's upcoming changes - Musk's dream of a free speech paradise - end up somehow violating their rules. It's been suggested that Twitter's impending new direction may inadvertently promote hate speech, bullying, explicity sexual content, and other discriminatory posting.
Another potential issue is how in-app purchases are made, such as Twitter subscriptions that are being rolled out. This comes in light of the fact that Apple and Google are putting pressure on Twitter’s new $8 fee for Twitter Blue subscriptions. Apple, in particular, has specific rules for digital content that can be purchased by using Apple’s in-app mechanism, which the company bills the user directly.
Musk has stated in a tweet that the system Apple uses for app purchases is effectively a "30% tax on using the internet".
Apple’s store is like having a 30% tax on the Internet. Definitely not ok.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
Elon Musk and Twitter are not the only ones that have disapproved of the system Apple and Google uses for in-app purchases. Microsoft, Meta, Epic Games, Spotify, and others have made their position known by lobbying and taking legal steps in opposition and criticizing the in-app system.
Earlier this month, Musk emphasized the goal to increase Twitter's revenue through subscriptions while opening it more widely to free speech. Premium subscriptions for the coveted verified account status on Twitter is one of the main initiatives Musk has initiated, though the implementation has been rocky so far.
Elon Musk has been very visible, as of late, with the controversial decisions made since his purchase of Twitter. Not the least of these issues are mass layoffs and removal of key personnel, as well as reinstating the previously permanently suspended Twitter account of ex-U.S. president Donald Trump.