Apple’s App Store Fees Called ‘Global Tax on the Internet’ by Elon Musk [Update]

CleanShot 2021 07 30 at 10 08 03

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday morning said Apple’s App Store fees are a “de facto global tax on the Internet,” adding in “Epic is right”, siding with the game developer behind Fortnite, currently embroiled in a lawsuit against the iPhone maker.

Recently, Tesla launched Full Self-Driving (FSD) subscriptions for customers in the United States, offering them the $10,000 USD add-on to Autopilot for $199 USD per month.

The addition of Full Self-Driving brings extra features such as Auto Lane Change, Autopark, Summon, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control and soon Autosteer on city streets (currently only available to limited beta testers, known as FSD beta v9).

For iOS users, it’s possible to subscribe to FSD using the Tesla app as an in-app purchase. But when you make an in-app purchase on the App Store, Apple gets its 30% cut, which may be what Musk is alluding to here.

Back in December 2020, Musk revealed, “During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.”

During Tesla’s recent Q2 earnings call, Musk took some shots at Apple, saying, “But I think we do want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy. It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors, which is sometimes used by some companies,” then coughing and mumbling, “Apple”.

It remains to be seen what Apple’s self-driving electric car ambitions will look like. For now, Tesla remains the leader when it comes to electric vehicles, as the company’s vertical integration of software, hardware and battery technology mirrors that of Apple’s business model.

Update: Elon Musk has added more on the matter in the tweets above.