Tesla CEO and Twitter boss Elon Musk says he will make an alternative phone if Apple and Google boot Twitter from their app stores. Many people want him to go ahead with a phone launch even if Apple and Google do not deplatform Twitter.
Elon Musk Could Launch Alternative Phone to Compete With Apple and Google
Elon Musk revealed Friday the possibility of him launching his own smartphone, which would compete with iPhone and Android, should Apple and Google deplatform his newly acquired social media company.
Twitter user Liz Wheeler suggested that Musk should produce his own smartphone if Apple and Google boot Twitter from their app stores, adding that “Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android.” Musk replied: “I certainly hope it does not 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 remove Twitter from their app stores.
The Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, and even smaller app stores like the Amazon Appstore, have rules intended to protect users from discrimination, bullying, harassment, and any content they deem objectionable. They have delisted apps over inadequate content moderation practices as well as harmful content. Apple said in a letter to Congress last year that it had removed over 30,000 apps from its store over objectionable content in 2020.
In January last year, Apple and Google cut off Parler, a social media app focusing on free speech, following the U.S. Capital riot on Jan. 6. The two companies subsequently let the app back in their stores with some content excluded after substantial changes to the app’s content moderation practices.
Many People Want Musk to Launch Alternative Phone
Many people welcome the idea of Musk producing an alternative phone. “I’d buy this. Do it even if the app stays,” one Twitter user exclaimed. Another said: “Do it anyways. There’s a huge market for an alternative to Google and Apple.” A third user stressed:
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 unhesitatingly ditch our Apple iPhones and switch to your alternative model.
Some people warned about the reality of Musk launching an alternative phone. One opined: “Even if it’s Elon Musk there are dominant 1st movers already in the space.” Another warned: “Even if he wanted to do this, it would be years before [a] single phone went on sale. Phones rely on components from dozens of vendors. Just to get fab space for a processor would take years, TSMC is booked for years and Samsung is far behind their node processes.”
A third user shared: “Prediction: A Twitter mobile phone connected to Starlink: Always on, always connected, anywhere in [the] world. Capable of encrypted commutations & payments all operated under Space Law. Imagine blockchain + comms hosted on microservers in space, beyond reach of terrestrial governments.”
In addition, the Tesla CEO also complained about the 15% to 30% cut Apple and Google take from purchases made inside apps, which could eat into the revenue from Musk’s plans for $8 per month from Twitter verification subscriptions. On Nov. 18, Musk tweeted:
App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30% tax on the Internet.
Musk recently revealed plans to build X, the everything app. He said buying Twitter accelerates the creation of X by three to five years.
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