Elon Musk said in a tweet on Friday that, should Apple decide to exclude Twitter from its influential App Store, he will “make an alternative phone” to take on the iPhone.
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
Musk’s remarks follow Phil Schiller’s removal of his Twitter account, an Apple employee who is in charge of the App Store. “The social media company might be kicked out of Apple and Google’s app stores if they don’t follow the rules” according to Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter, who made this claim in a New York Times opinion piece.
Musk has changed a lot about Twitter since he took over at the end of October, including major staff cuts and firings that prompted officials in charge of data privacy and content moderation to leave. Before making his $44 billion purchase bid, Musk lambasted Twitter for damaging democracy by not upholding “free speech values” and shortly thereafter referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
Musk’s approach may cause Twitter to transgress the rules of the relevant app markets. Some have questioned if Apple or Google will ban Twitter from their respective app markets due to the platform’s disorganized management method. Elon responded to a tweet by saying that, if there is no other option, he will build his phone, even though there is no indication that the major cell companies have given this idea any serious thought. Additionally, he has already expressed disapproval of the businesses and lamented their outrageous costs.
The existence of a “Tesla Pi Phone” has long been the subject of speculative, unproven rumors, but it appears that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter may be the catalyst for the company’s creator to finally cross the line and develop a mobile device. It isn’t that absurd. With over a million users running a tablet Linux OS with a highly contemporary UI, Tesla has its chip technology, software stack with games and apps, and over a million customers.