Tesla CEO and Twitter boss Elon Musk says he’ll make an alternative phone if Apple and Google launch Twitter from their app stores. Many want him to go ahead with a phone launch even if Apple and Google don’t deplatform Twitter.
Elon Musk may launch alternative phone to compete with Apple and Google
Elon Musk on Friday revealed the possibility that he could launch his own smartphone, which would compete with the 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 launch Twitter from their app stores, adding that “Half the country would love to ditch the biased, snooping iPhone and Android.” Musk replied: “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 at odds with Apple and Google, and the two tech giants could remove Twitter from their app stores.
The Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and even smaller app stores like the Amazon Appstore have rules to protect users from discrimination, bullying, harassment and any content they deem offensive. They have removed apps due to 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 for offensive content in 2020.
In January last year, Apple and Google cut Parler, a social media app focused on free speech, following the January 6 US Capital uprising. The two companies then put the app back on their stores with some content excluded after significant changes to the app’s content moderation practices.
Many want Musk to launch an alternative phone
Many people welcome the idea of Musk producing an alternative phone. “I’d buy this. Do it even if the app stays,” exclaimed one Twitter user. Another said: “Do it anyway. There’s a huge market for an alternative to Google and Apple.” A third user emphasized:
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 warned about the reality of Musk launching an alternative phone. One opined: “Even if it’s Elon Musk, there are already dominant 1st movers in the space.” Another warned: “Even if he wanted to do this, it would be years before [a] single telephone went on sale. Phones rely on components from dozens of vendors. Just getting enough space for a processor will take years, TSMC is booked for years and Samsung is way behind their node processes.”
A third user shared: “Prediction: A Twitter mobile connected to Starlink: Always on, always connected, anywhere in [the] world. Capable of encrypted commutations and payments all operated under the Space Act. Imagine blockchain + communication on microservers in space, beyond the reach of land-based authorities.”
In addition, Tesla’s CEO also complained about the 15-30% cut Apple and Google take from purchases made in apps, which could eat into the revenue from Musk’s plans for $8 per month from Twitter verification subscriptions. On November 18, Musk tweeted:
App Store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. There is a hidden 30% tax on the Internet.
Musk recently revealed plans to build X, the alt app. He said that buying Twitter speeds up the creation of X by three to five years.
Would you buy Elon Musk’s alternative smartphone to iPhone and Android? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
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