Elon Musk Will Make an ‘Alternative Phone’ if Apple and Google Ban the Twitter App
Elon Musk said on Friday afternoon that he will “make an alternative phone” if Apple or Google decide to kick Twitter off the App Store or Play Store, their respective mobile app marketplaces.
“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” Musk said in a Friday tweet, responding to a question on the subject from political commentator and podcast host Elizabeth Wheeler.
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 last week hired George “Geohot” Hotz, the original iPhone hacker, who could probably help if it ever comes to that.
Phil Schiller, an Apple Fellow and the company’s App Store chief, deactivated his Twitter account sometime after Musk’s takeover of the social network last month. Schiller’s departure provides a window into what at least one high-ranking Apple executive thinks about Musk’s Twitter.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said last week that Musk’s plans to turn Twitter into a “subscription service” could eventually lead to the company clashing with Apple and Google over their exorbitant App Store and Play Store commissions.
Musk has publicly criticized Apple’s 30% take of all App Store transactions in the past. It’s unlikely he’ll want to give 30 cents of every dollar Twitter makes through its planned subscriptions to Apple or Google.
Although Twitter has indefinitely delayed the relaunch of its $9.99 CAD Twitter Blue subscription with account verification, Musk has made it clear he wants to monetize the platform with subscriptions. Twitter’s advertising revenue has dipped significantly as of late, and the company is crunched for cash.
There’s a real (albeit small) chance that Musk’s Twitter could end up suffering the same fate as Epic Games’ Fortnite and being booted from the App Store and Play Store — if not for butting heads with Apple and Google over their commission on sales, then for content moderation if things on the platform get too wild.
Musk last week began reinstating Twitter accounts that had previously been permanently suspended for various offences. He started by unbanning comedian Kathy Griffin, Canadian media personality Jordan Peterson, and satirical news publication The Babylon Bee, but he also reinstated former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account about a day later.
Twitter’s new owner and CEO has also announced a new “freedom of speech” policy for Twitter, although that doesn’t guarantee “freedom of reach” for anything users post on the platform.
What do you think an “alternative phone” developed by Musk would look like? Let us know in the comments below.