Tesla CEO and Twitter boss Elon Musk said he would launch an alternative phone if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores. Many people want him to launch a phone even if Apple and Google do not move Twitter.
Elon Musk could launch an alternative phone to compete with Apple and Google
Elon Musk revealed on Friday the possibility that he would launch his own smartphone, which would compete with the iPhone and Android, should Apple and Google move his recently acquired social media company.
Twitter user Liz Wheeler suggested that Musk would produce his own smartphone if Apple and Google removed Twitter from their app stores, adding that “half the country would be happy to get rid of the biased, snooping iPhone and Android“. Elon Musk responded, “I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.“
Musk’s plans for Twitter as a free speech platform could put the social media company in conflict with Apple and Google, and the two tech giants could pull Twitter from their app stores.
Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and even smaller app stores like Amazon’s Appstore, have rules designed to protect users from discrimination, bullying, harassment, and any content they find objectionable. They have removed apps from the list due to inadequate content moderation practices or harmful content. Last year, Apple said in a letter to Congress that it had removed more than 30,000 apps from its store for objectionable content in 2020.
In January of last year, Apple and Google removed Parler, a social media app focused on free speech, following the riot in the U.S. capital on Jan. 6. Both companies later let the app back into their stores, but with some content excluded, after making substantial changes to the app’s content moderation practices.
Many people want Musk to launch an alternative phone
Many people welcome the idea of Musk producing an alternative phone. “I would buy it. Do it even if the application remains“, exclaimed one Twitter user. Another said, “Do it anyway. There is a huge market for an alternative to Google and Apple.“A third user pointed out:
If Apple attempted the kind of strike against Twitter that it successfully launched against Parler, I can assure you Elon Musk that millions of us would abandon our Apple iPhones without hesitation and switch to your alternative model.
Some people have warned about the reality of Musk launching an alternative phone. One stated, “Even if it is Elon Musk, there are already dominant leaders in this field.“Another cautioned, “Even if he wanted to do it, it would be years before he could… [a] a single phone would be released. The phones rely on components from dozens of suppliers. Just to get manufacturing space for a processor would take years, TSMC is booked for years, and Samsung is far behind in its node processes.“
A third user shared, “Prediction: Twitter cell phone connected to Starlink: Always on, always connected, anywhere in [the] world. Capable of encrypted switches & payments all operated under space law. Imagine blockchain + communications hosted on microservers in space, out of reach of terrestrial governments.“
In addition, the Tesla CEO also complained about the 15-30% share that Apple and Google take on in-app purchases, which could eat into Musk’s $8-a-month plan revenue from Twitter verification subscriptions. On Nov. 18, Musk tweeted:
App store fees are clearly too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. This is a hidden 30% tax on the internet.
Musk recently revealed his plans to build X, the app of all things. He said the purchase of Twitter accelerates the creation of X by three to five years.